Info Note #1 - WA Environmental Approvals Process Public Submissions

Projects that may have a significant impact on the environment are assessed by the EPA under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA).

There are 2 levels of assessment:

  • Assessment on Proponent Information(API): This is the lowest level of assessment and doesnt include public comment.
  • Public Environmental Review(PER): This is the highest level of assessment, and includes public consultation.

The company wishing to undertake a project is called the Proponent.

The following steps are an overview of the first steps in the EPA environmental assessment process:

  1. The Proponent submits a referral to the EPA
  2. The EPA advertises the Proponent’s referral on its website, and the public has 7 DAYS to make a submission.
    1. The Public Submissions are done using an online form on the EPA website
    2. The Public Submissions are limited to 500 words
    3. The Public Submission needs to pick which level of assessment the Project should have (API or PER) and why.
  3. Once the 7 days are over, the EPA looks at the public submissions and decides which level of assessment is appropriate. The EPA then advertises its decision on the website.
    1. If the EPA sets an API level of assessment, there is no further chance for public comment
    2. If the EPA sets a PER level of assessment, there will be further opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed project. This includes a 4 – 12 week public comment process where you have the chance to read the Proponent’s PER document and raise your concerns.

The EPA sets a PER level of assessment if the proposed project meets any one of the following criteria:

  • The proposal is of regional and/or State-wide significance.
  • The proposal has several significant environmental issues, some of which are complex or of a strategic nature.
  • Substantial and detailed assessment of the proposal is required to determine whether, and if so how,the environmental issues could be managed.
  • The level of interest in the proposal warrants a public review period.

So you want to have a say about bauxite mining in the Avon and Hills area.... Where to from here? Stage 1

  1. Keep an eye on the EPA website to see if proposed bauxite mining projects have been referred to the EPA:
    (or you can subscribe to the EPA’s automatic notification service on the website)
  2. Have a look at the online referral Public Submission form
  3. If you want to have the chance to have a say in the assessment process, you will need to ask the EPA to set a PER level of assessment as soon as the bauxite mining proposal has been referred to the EPA. Don’t forget you only have 7 days to get your public submission in!
  4. You only have 500 words to explain why you think the proposed project should be assessed at a PER level– use them wisely! Be short and to the point - Lists are a great way to save words.

Wait for the EPA’s announcement to see what level of assessment has been set.... And then we’ll tackle Stage 2 – we will provide more information on Stage 2 in the future, stay tuned to

More details on the EPA environmental impact assessment process can be found here:


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