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About NT EPA

The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) is an independent authority established under the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority Act 2012 . The NT EPA consists of between four and seven members appointed by the Administrator of the Northern Territory and the Chair of the NT Planning Commission. Appointed members to the NT EPA are required to collectively provide knowledge and experience in a broad range of environmental, scientific, business and social disciplines.

There are currently eight members of the NT EPA. More information on the members of the NT EPA can be found on the members page.

The NT EPA provides advice on the environmental impacts of development proposals and advice and regulatory services to encourage effective waste management, pollution control and sustainable practices.

The objectives of the NT EPA are to:

  • promote ecologically sustainable development;
  • protect the environment, having regard to the need to enable ecologically sustainable development;
  • promote effective waste management and waste minimisation strategies; and
  • enhance community and business confidence in the environmental protection regime of the Territory.


The NT EPA's Strategic Plan 2018-2020 outlines its purpose and objectives, its priorities, key strategies and outcomes.

The functions of the NT EPA are established from a range of Acts oulined below, and are consistent with the legislated objectives of the NT EPA:

Legislation Key functions and responsibilities (some sections cited)
Environmental Assessment Act 1982
  • Assessing the environmental impacts of development proposals to ensure that development decisions in the Northern Territory take environmental impact into consideration.
Waste Management and Pollution Control Act 1998
  • Issuing of licences to regulate activities.
  • Compliance and enforcement activities to reduce the likelihood of environmental harm resulting from pollution.
  • Implementation of national standards that have been adopted in the Northern Territory as it relates to NT EPA's functions.
  • Maintain a register of licences and environment protection approvals and related plans for environmental management, compliance plans, pollution abatement notices and section 14 incident notices.
Environment Protection (Beverage Containers and Plastic Bags) Act 2011
  • Administration of the container deposit scheme.
  • Administration of the plastic bag ban.
Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority Act 2012
  • Providing advice and reporting to the Minister on a range of environmental matters.
  • Inquiring and reporting on any aspect of environmental quality in the Territory.
  • Assurance monitoring with the ability to undertake periodic systemic reviews of environmental management matters or its outcomes.
  • Providing advice and report to the Minister on specific matters about an proposal, policy, plan or other measure to manage the environmental impact of development on the environment (for example, advice regarding environmental management plans (EMPs) prepared under the Petroleum (Environment) Regulations).
  • Development of guidance material to promote good environmental practices.
  • Provision of technical advice to government and the community on waste and pollution management issues.

Relationship with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

The Environment Division of the Northern Territory Government Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) provides the NT EPA with staff and facilities to enable it to properly exercise its powers and perform its functions.