In certain circumstances a licensee may need to apply to the EPA for an exemption. This is in cases when they are unable to comply with the Environment Protection Act 1993.
The EPA may grant an exemption for a set period of time and with special conditions attached so that the business can continue to operate. There will be an expectation by the EPA that the business will work hard to move their operations into compliance or that the exceedences are short lived.
Exemptions are a form of environmental authorisation, as are licences, and are assessed using the same regulatory principles as those applied to standard licences. That is, the activity for which an exemption is sought is assessed in terms of risk of potential harm to the environment and human health.