What is Environmental Nuisance?
Environmental nuisance is:
- unreasonable interference (or likely interference) with an environmental value caused by emissions of aerosols, fumes, light, noise, odour, particles (including dust) or smoke; or
- unhealthy, offensive or unsightly conditions caused by contamination.
Environmental values include the amenity of a place, such as a house, that make it suitable for anyone to sleep, study or relax there. These values can be affected by noise, dust, odour or light.
If noise, dust, odour or emissions are unreasonable and make it difficult for you to lead your life, it’s probably an environmental nuisance.
The Environmental Protection Act 1994 specifies general nuisance emissions, (including aerosols, fumes, light, noise, odour, particles, smoke and contamination), that are regulated by Council.
In accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1994 if an emission is found to be an unlawful environmental nuisance Council may issue a direction notice to the person responsible for the emission.
A direction notice maybe issued to the person requiring the person to remedy the contravention. If the direction notice is not complied with Council may issue an on the spot fine or commence prosecution.
Click on the links below to see permissable activities and conditions.
The Environmental Protection Act 1994 specifies noise standards for noise emitted from swimming pool pumps; air-conditioning; regulated devices; building work; refrigeration equipment; indoor venues; amplified devices; open-aired events, power boat engine noise (not on water) and the use of generators north of the Daintree River.
When investigating a dust complaint, Council considers the amount of dust being emitted; duration and rate of emission and the dust’s characteristics and qualities; sensitivity of the environment into which the dust is being emitted and the potential impacts; and view of other neighbours or complainants.
Light & Odours
Council investigates complaints about light that is emitted from luminous advertising signs and private property such as flood lights or sensor lights. When investigating an odour complaint, Council considers the amount of odour being emitted; duration and rate of emission and the odours characteristics and qualities; sensitivity of the environment into which the odour is being emitted and the potential impact; and the view of other neighbours or complainants.
Smoke, Fumes & Particles
Under Council’s Local Laws, the lighting of fires is prohibited in the Douglas Shire Council in particular circumstances. Fires where the size of the material to be consumed by fire exceeds two metres in any direction, are required to have a permit issued by the Rural Fire Service. Fires must not cause a smoke nuisance. Certain activities, such as abrasive blasting, spray painting, and sanding can create fumes and airborne particles that can cause a nuisance. Environmental Health Officers will investigate complaints of smoke or particle nuisance.
Noise, Odour, Dust – Making a Complaint
For information regarding environmental nuisance complaints governed by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection on 13 QGOV (13 74 68). More information is available on the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection complaint information sheet.
For all other environmental nuisance complaints please phone Council’s Environmental Health and Regulatory Services Unit on (07) 4099 9444.