Licence fee system
The licence fee system (LFS) is based on ‘user pays’ and ‘polluter pays’ principles, where licence fees reflect the EPA’s regulatory effort as well as the amount and type of pollutants discharged to the environment.
The LFS enables the EPA to:
- recover, in an efficient and equitable manner, the costs we incur due to the assessment and environmental management of licences
- provide an economic incentive to reduce pollution.
Components of the LFS
The one-off application fee consists of two components:
The annual licence fee consists of three components:
- flat minimum fee
- environment management fee
- resource efficiency fees (comprising load based fees and a water reuse fee).
The LFS model was determined so that the split between these components is:
- 1% flat minimum fee
- 39% resource efficiency fee
- 60% environmental management fee.
The lodgement fee covers the initial setup component of processing a licence application.
The assessment fee reflects the time taken by technical and administrative staff to assess each activity and prepare the licence conditions for each of those activities.
The flat minimum fee covers the basic administration work common to all licences.
The environment management fee reflects the regulatory effort, which is aligned to environmental risk, for managing an activity. This fee is based on the activity that incurs the highest fee of all activities carried out on a site.
Waste transport, dredging and earthworks drainage, if applicable, are an additional charge.
There are two types of resource efficiency fees, which only apply to a subset of licences:
- Pollutant load fees are for the discharge of key pollutants from the licensed site to the environment (air or water). Emission thresholds apply to ensure that only significant emissions are captured.
- Water reuse fee for the discharge of fresh water to the marine environment.