Emergency pollution clean up program (EPCUP)

Aim of the program

The aim of the Emergency pollution clean up program (EPCUP) is to help avoid significant risk to the environment or public health in NSW. When measures need to be taken immediately (i.e. emergency pollution events) EPCUP contributes funds towards the removal, dispersal or mitigation of serious pollution.

For incidents related to illegally dumped asbestos or other hazardous orphaned waste please refer to the Illegally dumped asbestos clean up program.

How it works

State agencies, including the NSW EPA, emergency service organisations and local councils, may become involved in clean up activities following an emergency pollution event. In most cases a responsible party is identified and will be in a position to undertake and fund clean up under the polluter-pays principle.

However, sometimes the responsible party is unknown, unavailable, unwilling (despite a legal obligation to do so) or unable to pay for emergency pollution clean up within the timeframe required to avoid or at least minimise harm to the environment or public health. Under these circumstances, and in the absence of the responsible party, the organisation responsible for coordinating the clean up may apply for funding under EPCUP.


The budget for this  program is $0.5 million annually. Applications can be made at any time.


It is recommended that you read the Emergency Pollution Clean Up Program Guidelines (130620GdeEPCUP.pdf, 131KB) which explains the types of situations that are eligible for funding.

Further Information

Find out more about reporting pollution incidents.

Environmental Trust
PO Box 644

Phone: (02) 8837 6093
E-mail:  info@environmentaltrust.nsw.gov.au

Page last updated: 12 February 2014