former Standing Council on Environment and Water

(incorporating the National Environment Protection Council)

National Environment Protection Measures (NEPMs)

On 13 December 2013, COAG replaced its 22 Standing Councils, Select Councils and governance fora with a set of eight Councils and the decision saw the revocation of the Standing Council on Environment and Water. Work is currently underway to resolve how its existing work would be handled in the future. In the interim, this website is currently maintained for historical purposes and is scheduled for archiving.

A new website for the National Environment Protection Council is being developed.

The Commonwealth National Environment Protection Council Act 1994, and complementary State and Territory legislation allow the National Environment Protection Council to make National Environment Protection Measures (NEPMs).

NEPMs are a special set of national objectives designed to assist in protecting or managing particular aspects of the environment.

The concept of NEPMs is unique and is provided for under the National Environment Protection Acts (NEPC Acts).

NEPMs can be made about a variety of environmental matters as prescribed by the NEPC Acts:

  • ambient air quality
  • ambient marine, estuarine and fresh water quality;
  • the protection of amenity in relation to noise (but only if differences in markets for goods and services);
  • general guidelines for the assessment of site contamination;
  • environmental impacts associated with hazardous wastes;
  • the re-use and recycling of used materials.

NEPMs may also relate to motor vehicle noise and emissions.

NEPMs are made by NEPC Ministers and are implemented in each jurisdiction.

Decisions about the way in which NEPMs are implemented are made by each jurisdiction individually. For information on how each NEPM is implemented, please refer to the relevant jurisdictional agency.

Annual reporting

Jurisdictions are required to report annually on the implementation of NEPMs

From time to time, Ministers may decided to vary an existing NEPM or make a new one. Before this can happen an extensive consultation process is undertaken.

Once a NEPM is made or has been varied by NEPC Ministers, it is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI).