Any given morning at around 5am the noise from the back of the commercial premises and laneway can be heard loudly from your new apartment. What can be done to stop this deafening racket? Is this noise at this time in the morning, or at any time of the day or night, beyond an acceptable level? Is this noise causing environmental harm?

The integrated framework for protecting the ACT environment from pollution and other forms of environmental harm is comprised of the Environment Protection Act 1997 (ACT) (‘the Act’), the Environment Protection Regulation 2005 (ACT) (‘Environment Protection Regulation’) and the accompanying Environment Protection Policies (EPPs). Unless otherwise specified, references to sections of an Act in this chapter are references to sections of the Environment Protection Act 1997 (ACT).

This chapter provides a brief overview of the Act by considering the underlying principles on which the Act is based and how the Act is implemented.

It then looks at the role of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the policies and instruments used to prevent and control harm. Finally, it looks at enforcement and compliance issues.

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