Storage of dangerous substances

What is happening?

The ACT Government is working to improve planning outcomes for the community and businesses in relation to the storage of Schedule 11 hazardous chemicals (previously referred to as dangerous substances).

Amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2007 came into effect on 29 March 2018 making storage of hazardous chemicals an action that requires development approval and introduced international systems for classifying and labeling chemicals.

The change in legislation is to ensure that the storage of hazardous chemicals is appropriately recorded across the ACT and that any changes to the storage locations and quantity of dangerous goods are compatible with surrounding land uses, such as homes, schools and community facilities.

Approvals for the storage of hazardous chemicals

There are two options for planning approval:

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Impact Track Development Applications

An EIS details the anticipated environmental impacts of a development on the environment as well as proposing avoidance, mitigation and offset measures.

An EIS is prepared by a proponent to enable decision makers to understand potential environmental consequences.

Environmental Significance Opinion (ESO) and Merit Track Development Application

An ESO stating the proposal to store hazardous chemicals is not likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact can be granted by the planning and land authority.

An ESO is a quicker process and lower level of assessment, as is the subsequent merit track development application.

A development application exemption cannot be granted for storage of hazardous chemicals under the Planning and Development Act.

Who can I contact for more information?

Email us at

Further information about hazardous chemicals is available on the Access Canberra website.