Chemical manufacturing environmental regulations


Your chemical manufacturing business may need a permit, licence, authorisation or exemption to prevent your activities from causing pollution or harming human health. The chemical industry includes producers of commodity chemicals such as organic and inorganic chemicals and industrial gases, and speciality chemicals such as pharmaceutical products and essential oils. It also includes making chemical products and preparations, eg paints, pesticides, inks, detergents and cosmetics.

Your business can have a number of impacts on the environment, including:

  • air pollution such as volatile organic compounds from chemical reactions during mixing, blending, diluting or converting
  • land contamination from chemical or oil storage areas
  • waste disposal such as process residues, spent catalysts and solvents
  • water discharges including contaminated water from accidental spills or effluent treatment processes
  • fossil fuel use such as gas and oil used as raw materials and to provide heat and pressure
  • water use for processing, vessel washing and cooling

This guide will help you check if your business needs a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit, waste management licence, registered exemption or other environmental authorisation, such as a trade effluent consent, radioactive substance registration or authorisation or hazardous waste pre-notification.

You can be fined or even sent to prison if you don't have the correct permit, licence, authorisation or exemption.