Following an extensive consultation process, the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017 were made on 14 June 2017. The new Regulations take effect from 25 June 2017 and replace the existing 2007 Regulations.
The Regulations define which types of premises in Victoria are considered ‘scheduled premises’. Occupiers of these sites are required to obtain an Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) works approval and/or licence, and/or provide a financial assurance.
These Regulations are being reviewed in two stages. This first stage has involved relatively minor clarifications, amendments and improvements. As noted in the government’s response earlier this year to the Independent Inquiry into the Environment Protection Authority, a subsequent review will take place to give effect to relevant recommendations out of the inquiry.
EPA Executive Director of Knowledge, Standards and Assessments Tim Eaton said the Regulations were a critical aspect of Victoria’s environment protection framework.
‘The Regulations identify the types of industry activities that require an EPA works approval or EPA licence. These controls help minimise any risks to the environment and human health from pollution and waste,’ Mr Eaton said.
Compared to the 2007 Regulations, the Scheduled Premises Regulations 2017:
- require larger-scale reprocessors of electronic waste (over 500 tonnes per year) and glass (over 10,000 tonnes per year) to obtain a works approval or licence (Schedule 1, categories A02 and H05) [existing premises have until 25 Jan 2018 to apply for a licence]
- limit works approval and licence exemptions for new sources of emissions to air of fine particles (PM2.5) (regulation 10)
- limit works approval exemptions for small municipal landfills to those in use prior to the commencement of these Regulations (Schedule 1, category A05)
- remove works approval and licensing requirements, under strict conditions, for occupiers of premises that temporarily store asbestos or lower-hazard liquid wastes (regulation 12)
- will no longer prescribe potable water treatment plants as scheduled premises (by removing these premises from Schedule 1)
- exempt water corporations from works approval requirements for some types of modification works at their sewage treatment plants (Schedule 1, category A03)
- modify, in order to clarify, the descriptions for organic waste processing (was previously called composting) and beverage manufacturing (regulation 5, and Schedule 1, categories A07, B01 and D09)
- make minor and administrative changes in relation to emergency storage of biomedical waste, energy from waste facilities, livestock saleyards and holding pens, fish farms, extractive industry and mining, rendering facilities, seafood processing premises, container washing facilities, printing facilities, and contaminated soil facilities (regulation 12, and Schedule 1, categories A08, B02, B03, C01, D02, D04, G05, J01 and L02)
- make consequential amendments to the Environment Protection (Fees) Regulations 2012 (regulation 17).
EPA is communicating with industries to ensure they understand and comply with these new Regulations. Guidance material about the changes is available on EPA’s Scheduled Premises Regulations review page.