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Licensing and approvals

Environment protection licences and approvals

The NT EPA grants environment protection approvals and licences for activities listed in Schedule 2 of the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act 1998. These activities are associated with the:

  • disposal of waste by burial
  • Listed Waste collecting, transporting, storing, re-cycling, treating or disposing and
  • processing hydrocarbons so as to produce, store and/or despatch liquefied natural gas or methanol.

Environment protection approvals are granted for works associated with the construction phase of these activities and environment protection licenses are granted for the operational phase of the activity.

Environment protection approvals and environment protection licences granted by the NT EPA can be viewed on our public register.

Waste discharge licences

The Water Act 1992 requires a person conducting an activity which has the potential to prejudice a declared beneficial use, or which may cause waste to come into contact with water, or water to become polluted, to have a waste discharge licence.

The Controller of Water Resources has the statutory power to grant waste discharge licenses under section 74 of the Water Act 1992.

Waste discharge licences are regulatory instruments used to regulate the quality and quantity of waste discharged to water in the Northern Territory.

Waste discharge licenses are most commonly granted for waste discharges associated with the following activities:

  • sewage treatment or wastewater treatment plants
  • aquaculture
  • mining
  • dredged material (spoil) disposal.

There are no fees associated with applying for or amending a waste discharge licence under the Water Act 1992.

Waste discharge licences granted by the Controller of Water Resources can be viewed on the public register.

Reporting requirements

Approvals and licences contain conditions that require the approval holder or licensee to report certain things to the NT EPA including:

  • annual returns
  • non-compliances with conditions
  • exceedance of trigger values and
  • volumes of listed waste handled.

The format for providing this information is often not specified.

To assist in these reporting requirements the NT EPA has developed standard forms that can be accessed from the links below.

Annual return

Read the guideline PDF (77.5 KB) on completing an annual return form DOCX (94.9 KB).

An annual return provides a measure of accountability and public transparency for the approval holder or licensee.

Annual returns are placed on the NT EPA website.

They require the approval holder and licensee to conduct a self-assessment of their compliance with their respective approval or licence and make a statement of compliance.

The annual return includes summary information on non-compliances with approval or licence conditions. It is up to the approval holder or licensee to ensure Annual Returns are submitted in accordance with their approval or licence conditions and by the required submission date.

Reminder letters are generally issued by the NT EPA however the approval holder or licensee should not rely on these to ensure compliance with approval or licence conditions.

Listed waste handling

A listed waste handling report must be completed by anyone licensed to collect, transport, store, re-cycle or dispose of a listed waste on an annual basis as per the conditions of their licence.

The report requires the licensee to identify the volume of wastes handled.

These volumes are used to calculate annual fees and inform national and international reporting requirements including the National Environment Protection (Movement of Controlled Waste between States and Territories) Measure 1998 and the Basel Convention.

To complete the listed waste handling report, licensee are to login to EPA Online and enter the Waste Handled in the Annual Return tab for each licence they hold.

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