Legislation

Regulations


Regulations are primarily used to deal with matters in detail. Regulations are also made to control discharges to the environment that are not readily licensed.

Information on the following regulations is available:

Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009

The Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009 are available online at the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website.

Prior to 2009, prescribed industrial wastes (PIWs) were regulated by the Environmental Protection (Prescribed Waste) Regulations 1998 (the 1998 Regulations), and the Industrial Waste Management Policy (Prescribed Industrial Waste) 2000 (the Policy). The 1998 Regulations were remade prior to their sunset as the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009 (the 2009 Regulations) and came into effect on 1 July 2009.

The 1998 Regulations imposed various obligations on businesses around administrative information and reporting requirements. These included exemption applications, permitting and transport certificates for vehicles transporting PIW, an annual report to EPA, and wider record keeping requirements to demonstrate compliance with the regulations. The changes enacted by the 2009 Regulations include an alternative to classify/categorise waste, a streamlined application process for vehicle permits and easier management for the reuse and recycling of waste. Overall the changes placed more onus on the waste producer, transporter and receiver to be responsible and aware of the management of their waste stream.

To gain an understanding of the cost of the changes to the regulation imposed on businesses, EPA interviewed 14 clients. Interviewees were from a range of industries and represented waste receivers and transporters (5) and waste producers (9). Interviewees were selected to provide a representative cross-section of the waste industry, and ranged from smaller businesses to larger multi-site organisations in orders to gather an overall opinion of the market.

The Regulatory Change Measurement (RCM) method was used to analyse the administrative, compliance and delay costs of the new regulations. The RCM measures all compliance costs within the Reducing the Regulatory Burden initiative. View the RCM (publication 1383).

The RCM for the Environmental Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009 as assessed by the Better Regulation Unit at the Department of Treasury and Finance measured a reduction in regulatory burden of $9,147,988.

Environment Protection (Environment and Resource Efficiency Plans) Regulations 2007

From 1 January 2008 all commercial and industrial sites in Victoria that use more than 100 TJ of energy and/or 120 ML of water in a financial year need to prepare a plan that identifies actions to reduce energy and water use and waste generation. Each site that exceeds one or more thresholds must register with EPA, prepare a plan, implement actions with a payback period of three year or less, and report on their performance annually.

The Environment Protection (Environment and Resource Efficiency Plans) Regulations 2007 are now available online at the Victorian Law Today Library. Hard copies (paper) will also be available from the Information Victoria Bookshop and for viewing at the EPA Victoria Library.

Environment Protection (Fees) Regulations 2012

The Environment Protection (Fees) Regulations 2012 (the Regulations) apply from 28 October 2012. The Regulations are available online (PDF 655KB; Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website) and prescribe fees for the majority of EPA-administered licences and approvals under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (the Act), including:

  • works approvals fees
  • licence fees
  • waste transport permit fees
  • environmental audit fees.

Draft fees Regulations and a regulatory impact statement were released for public consultation in March 2012 for 60 days. Six submissions were received – see EPA Victoria’s response to comments (publication 1505).

Key changes

The new Regulations make a number of key changes to the Environment Protection (Fees) Regulations 2001. These include the following:

  • Adjustments to licence fee structures to better reflect the level of work undertaken by the EPA in regulating each type of licensed activity.
  • Base fees will incorporate risk as an important factor in setting the fees.
  • Component fees will remain unchanged (except for some updating of terms to reflect current statutory policies).
  • The calculation of works approval fees will be simplified. The fees will be calculated on the basis of 1 per cent of the monetary value of the works. A minimum fee of 81.83 fee units will be prescribed, while the Act places a cap on the fees of 4,500 fee units.
  • The fee for environmental audits will apply to both section 53V and section 53X audits under the Act (the former are not currently charged a fee). Fees for environmental audits will be simplified by charging a flat fee of 131.1 fee units.
  • The categories of waste permit transport fees have been simplified and a risk factor has been incorporated into setting the fees. Overall, fees in this category will decline by around 38 per cent.
  • A minimum fee of 81.83 fee units will be prescribed for waste receivers (licence categories A01 and A05) to ensure that a minimum amount is collected to cover EPA administrative costs. The previous discount for waste processed for reuse has been removed as it is not consistent with cost-recovery principles.
  • The maximum septic tank permit application fee for local government will not be prescribed in the proposed Regulations.

Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 2007

Under the Environment Protection Act 1970, premises which have the potential for significant environmental impact are subject to works approvals (for construction or modification of facilities or processes) and/or licences (for operating conditions, discharge limits, monitoring and reporting requirements).

The Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 2007 prescribe the premises that are subject to works approval and/or licensing by EPA, and provide for exemptions in certain circumstances. They provide a means to effectively manage these premises in a transparent way, which ensures an adequate level of community confidence is maintained.

The Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 2007 are available online at the Victorian Legislations and Parliamentary Documents site. Hard copies (paper) are available from the Information Victoria Bookshop and for viewing at the EPA Victoria Library.

The Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2007 were developed and released over the course of 2007. By reforming the previous framework, the new regulations have achieved greater benefits for business, society and environment at a lesser cost.

In line with the requirements of the Subordinate Legislation Act 1994 a regulatory impact statement (RIS) was published for public comment and assessed as adequate by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC).

In the course of preparing the RIS a standard cost model (SCM) was developed in accordance with the Victorian Guide to Regulation. The purpose of the SCM is to assess the administrative burden (being the costs associated with demonstrating compliance with the Regulation) placed on business by the Scheduled Premises regulations.

An internal review of EPA’s regulatory requirements discovered errors in the initial SCM calculation of the Scheduled Premises Regulations. The reduction in administrative burden achieved by the new regulations, initially miscalculated as $1.5 milllion per annum, is in reality $2.9 million per annum. A corrected calculation has been completed by KPMG and assessed by the VCEC as adequate.

What are the major changes in the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 2007, compared with the 1996 Regulations?

The Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 1996 have now been replaced by the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 2007.

The bulk of sites that required a licence and works approval under the 1996 Regulations still require those under the 2007 Regulations. However, there are a number of new categories, mostly to clarify existing requirements, and a number of descriptions have been amended to reflect changes over time and ensure that the continued focus is on areas of significant environmental risks.

The tables below outline the major changes in the Regulations. Further detail about the specific changes can be found in the Regulatory impact statement for the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemption) Regulations 2007.

New categories

Category Description Works approval, licence, financial assurance
Energy from waste Premises which recover energy from waste at a rated capacity of at least 1 megawatt. Require works approval and licence.
Container washing Premises receiving bulk transport containers for the purpose of internal washing or cleansing where the containers have contained - either prescribed industrial waste or dangerous goods. Require works approval and licence. Require financial assurance.
Carbon capture and storage Premises with facilities for the capture, separation, processing, or storage of waste carbon dioxide for the purpose of geological disposal. Require works approval and licence.
Long-term management of contaminated soil and groundwater Long-term management of soil and/or groundwater contamination where a notice has been issued under the Act. Exempt from works approval and licence. Require financial assurance.
Water desalination plants Premises at which salt is removed from water for potable or other uses that have a design capacity to process more than 1 megalitre per day of feed water. Require works approval and licence.

Categories that are a clarification of existing requirements

Category Description Works approval, licence, financial assurance
On-site containment of contaminated soil On-site retention of contaminated soil on premises that are designed to or have a capacity to hold 1000 m3 in an engineered facility. Require works approval. Exemption from licence. Require financial assurance.
Tunnel ventilation systems Road tunnel ventilation systems. Require works approval and licence.
Off-site industrial wastewater Premises on or from which industrial wastewater effluent not generated at the premises, exceeding a design or actual flow rate of 5000 litres per day, is discharge or deposited. Require works approval and licence.

New exemptions

Category New exemption criteria
Small wastewater treatment plants New exemption from licence provided for sites discharging less than 100,000 litres per day solely to land in accordance with EPA guidance. Works approval still required.
Abattoirs New exemption from licence provided for sites discharging less than 100,000 litres per day solely to land in accordance with EPA guidance. Works approval still required.
Small gas fired boilers and power stations New exemption from licence provided for gas fired boilers and turbines of a rated capacity of not more than 20 MW. Works approval still required.

Substantially modified categories

Category Description Works approval, licence, financial assurance
Composting Premises with aerobic or anaerobic composting which is designed to or has a capacity to process more than 100 tonnes of waste per month. Require works approval and licence.
Animal skin tanning Animal skin tanning, or re-tanning works. Require works approval and licence.
Milk Processing Milk processing or dairy product manufacturing works, which are designed to produce at least 200 tonnes per year of product(s). Require works approval and licence.
Edible oil Edible oil or fat processing works, where seed crushing, solvent extraction or edible oil or fat deodorising takes place, which are designed to produce at least 2000 tonnes per year of product(s). Require works approval and licence.
Textiles Textile manufacturing and processing works including carpet manufacturing, wool scouring, textile bleaching, textile dyeing and textile finishing works. Require works approval and licence. Exemption from licence for premises not undertaking finishing step with chemical treatment.
Pulp and paper mills Paper pulp mills, being works in which wood, wood products, waste paper or other cellulose materials are processed to form pulp, paper or cardboard. Require works approval and licence. Exemption from licence for premises producing less than 30,000 tonnes per year of pulp, paper or cardboard.
Printing Printing works emitting more than 100 kgs per day of volatile organic compounds. Require works approval and licence.
Bulk storage Bulk storage facilities which have a total design capacity of more than 1.0 megalitre (in tanks exceeding 10,000-litre capacity) and which store compounds of carbon (including petroleum products or oil) which –
(i) contain at least one carbon to carbon bond, as well as derivatives of methane
and
(ii) are liquid at Standard Temperature and Pressure
or
(iii) contain any substance classified as a class 3 indicator in State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management).

(Note: point (iii) above is to be read subject to the capacity requirements in the description).
Require works approval and licence. Require financial assurance.
General emissions to air Definition changes:
  • Total organic carbon is replaced with volatile organic carbon
  • Particulates is replaced with particles
The list of materials in 12(a)(iii) is replaced with reference to class 3 air indicators in State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management)
Require works approval and licence.

Removed categories

Current schedule category
Category 1(b): On-site management of specific waste
Category 8(b): Concrete batching plants

There are also changes to the general exemptions provisions in the Regulations, particularly with respect to emissions of noise.

Where can I find further information?

Contact the EPA Information Centre or nearest EPA regional office for further information on the applicability of the regulations.

Page last updated on 26 Feb 2014