Business, industry and planning guidance

The licensing approvals process

The licensing team manages decisions in relation to all EPA licences, including licence issues, amendments, surrenders and transfers. Within this scope, we manage the following landfill-related approvals.

  • notification of intent to construct (a new cell)
  • design
  • construction (53V Audit)
  • major variations
  • lift constructions (addendums to the 53V Construction Audit).

We also manage licence-related approvals such as assessment of applications to trial the use, and ongoing approval of, alternative daily cover in accordance with landfill licence condition LI_L7. Please direct all communication to

What are our approval timeframes?

The following table summarises EPA’s target approval timeframes as given in EPA Publication 1323 Landfill licensing guidelines.

Approval stage

Applicable to 

Approval timeframe - business days

Notification of intent to construct

New cells 



New cells/leachate ponds/cell capping


Construction (53V Audit)

New cells/leachate ponds/cell capping 


Major variations

New cells/leachate ponds/cell capping


Lift construction (addendums to the 53V Construction Audit)

New cells


Licence amendment to add new cell


21 (standard days)

All other landfill licence-related matters


10 (subject to complexity)

 Licence amendment following cell construction

After construction of the new landfill cell and submission of the 53V audit report to the licence-holder, the licence-holder must then submit the following to EPA via

  1. a copy of the audit report
  2. a list of environmental auditors recommended actions suitably phrased for inclusion in the environmental monitoring program or any additional work
  3. an application for amendment to the licence to include the landfill cell and associated details
  4. an updated site plan (in jpeg). This plan needs to depict the newly constructed cell as ‘active,’ as well as ‘closed’ and ‘future’ cells.

Once these documents have been received, EPA will assess the construction audit report within 20 business days of receipt. If accepted, EPA will then immediately commence the licence amendment, which must be completed within 21 days (as per section 20A(5) of the Environment Protection Act 1970).

Where the construction audit report is accepted, EPA envisages for most cases that the licence amendment will be completed well before the 21-day deadline. However, EPA does reserve the right to take this long if necessary in order to manage priorities across all licensing applications. 

Best practice guidelines

  • EPA publication 788 is the source document for best practice environmental management measures for landfills in Victoria. It takes into account the risk landfills pose to the environment and provides a guide for the measures required to meet legislative objectives.
  • EPA publication 1208 establishes standards for landfills licensed to receive Category C prescribed industrial wastes.
  • EPA publication 1323 is designed to assist landfill operators and environmental auditors with ongoing environmental management of the landfill and with gaining EPA approval for construction of new landfill cells at existing landfills.

Financial assurances

EPA requires financial assurances for landfills and any sites which accept any prescribed waste for the purposes of reprocessing, treatment, storage or disposal; or which generate and then reprocess, treat, store or dispose of certain wastes. More information can be found here:

Page last updated on 18 Dec 2018