Programs and initiatives

Major industries

EPA's major industries team works with Victoria’s largest and most complex industrial sites to identify and manage potential environmental risks.

Major industries are classified as those that generate large volumes of waste, discharge high volumes of emissions or treated effluent, or store or process large volumes of chemicals or hazardous materials. Typical sectors include refineries, power stations and chemical manufacturing.

Many of these sites are critical infrastructure and will have existing EPA licences with conditions and may already be identified by WorkSafe Victoria as a major hazard facility (MHF) and have a MHF licence.   

Major industries may also include large-scale manufacturers that are ceasing or reducing operations in Victoria and have the potential to leave considerable environmental legacies from past operations.

Major industries assessments

The major industries team conducts detailed audit-styled assessments on a range of large, complex industrial sites throughout Victoria. The assessment process includes a detailed  review of the duty holder's environmental management systems (EMS), with a focus on environmental risks identified, together with associated controls. The focus on the assessments ensures that the duty holder has identified key environmental risks and has appropriate controls in place to prevent harm to the environment. Where the industry is permitted under an EPA licence, the assessment checks to see that the industry is compliant with its licence. 

Assessments are held to ensure  the duty holder has identified its key environmental risks and has appropriate controls in place to prevent harm to the environment. If the industry is permitted under an EPA licence, an assessment will check if the industry is compliant with its licence.

Each year the major industries team assesses a selection of sites from a range of industrial sectors, both EPA-licensed and unlicensed. If your site is selected, EPA will contact you prior to the assessment to explain and guide you through the process.

Whether your site is selected or not, all should:

  • establish environmental conditions for your site and identify potential sources of contamination from current and historical site activities
  • be familiar with the environmental risks associated with site activities, and key controls required to manage these risks
  • demonstrate that risk based environmental monitoring programs are in place
  • ensure familiarity with EPA licence and notice requirements (if relevant)
  • establish procedures and systems to manage EPA licence compliance and to determine when activities are not complying with your EPA licence, permits or relevant standards
  • complete regular reviews of the environmental management system and address any deficiencies.

Need more information?

If you have any questions, please send an email to:

Other resources:

EPA Annual Plan

Compliance and Enforcement policy

Licence assessment guidelines

Licence management


Page last updated on 23 Aug 2019