Duty to notify of waste discharge

Occupiers must notify the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation of waste discharges which cause, or are likely to cause, pollution or environmental harm.
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In accordance with s.72 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act), the occupier of a premises must notify us as soon as practicable of a discharge of waste that has caused, or is likely to cause, pollution or environmental harm and which:

  • occurred as the result of an emergency, accident or malfunction
  • is contrary to a statutory approval or notice such as a licence, works approval or Environmental Protection Notice or
  • is a prescribed waste.

How do I notify the department?

Step 1: Initial notification

It is recommended that an initial notification is made to our Environment Watch service hotline on 1300 784 782 as soon as possible. The Environment Watch hotline is available 24 hours a day.

We acknowledge that this initial notification may not include full details of the incident and is subject to change as more information becomes available.

This initial verbal notification does not fulfil an occupier’s statutory obligations of notification. However, it allows us to initiate an appropriate and timely response to the incident and better manage any potential complaints from the public or media enquiries related to the waste discharge.  

Step 2: Written notification

Written notification of the waste discharge must be sent to us as soon as practicable following identification of the discharge.

It is recommended that occupiers use the waste discharge notification form to ensure they provide all the prescribed information.

Download the Waste discharge notification form.

The completed form should be submitted by email to the Environment Watch service at pollutionwatch@dwer.wa.gov.au.

Who is responsible for notifying the department?

The occupier of the premises where the discharge has occurred is responsible for notifying us. The occupier may be a person or a company, and is the entity in control of the premises, regardless of whether they are the owner of the premises.

Is there a penalty if I do not notify the department?

In accordance with s.72(1) of the EP Act, failure of an occupier to notify us of a discharge of waste that has caused or is likely to cause pollution, material environmental harm or serious environmental harm is a Tier 2 offence under Schedule 1, Part 2, Division 3, Item 5 of the Act.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is $50,000 for an individual or body corporate. A daily penalty of up to $10,000 also applies.