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The Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 2007 apply requirements to a range of industrial and commercial activities with the potential for significant environmental impacts. They prescribe premises in Victoria that are required to obtain an EPA works approval and/or licence, and/or provide a financial assurance.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) are reviewing these Regulations before they expire in mid-2017.
If the Independent Inquiry into the EPA results in changes to the Environment Protection Act 1970, these Regulations may then need to be reviewed again to ensure they remain well targeted.
Discussion paper on the review
To help inform the review, DELWP and EPA published a discussion paper in November 2015. We received 38 comments, 25 from a range of organisations and 13 from individuals. The non-confidential comments are published below.
Summary of comments we received
In response to the discussion paper, stakeholders provided feedback on both the content and design of the Regulations, as well as commenting on EPA’s administration of them. The feedback we received will be used by DELWP and EPA to inform the development of the next version of the regulations.
Key comments included the following:
- When asked which currently scheduled activities were most important for works approvals, licences and financial assurances, the most common responses were landfills (A05); prescribed industrial waste management (A01); waste to energy (A08); chemical works (G01); contaminated sites – onsite soil management (L02); and long-term management (L04).
- Conversely, different stakeholders suggested that various activities may no longer warrant works approvals or licences, on the basis that they are now being managed more effectively or involve lower risks than they did in 2007.
- The rationale for requiring financial assurances from government entities (water corporations, councils) and from entities required to provide similar assurances under other legislation was questioned.
- Most respondents thought that emission levels and pollution events would increase if works approvals, licences and financial assurances were no longer required.
- Local government stakeholders expressed concern about any potential additions to their existing obligations.
- Several organisations sought more clarity on the application of exemptions.
- Concerns were expressed about the length of time, complexity and cost of obtaining a works approval, particularly for modification works that will provide better environmental outcomes.
- Different respondents advocated that different, additional activities should be licensed, such as those with potential noise impacts (such as airfields or wind farms), or those that present emerging or diffuse pollution risks (such as unconventional gas, animal husbandry and service stations).
- Stakeholders noted the need for clarity in the respective roles of EPA (under the Environment Protection Act) and local councils under the Victorian planning system, and similarly the need to avoid duplication with other regulators (such as for earth resources regulation).
- There was more support than opposition for the idea of introducing tiered licence conditions. Views on the idea of introducing a site-specific fee component were more mixed.
Those providing comments had the choice of making them publicly available (with anonymity for the author, in some cases) or keeping them confidential. If a person requested anonymity, identifying details have been removed. If confidentiality was requested, the submission has not been published. Some parts of the comments have been redacted (blacked out) for privacy reasons.
Comments from organisations
Comments from individuals
More chances to give us your input in 2016
We will offer more opportunities to be involved in 2016, during the development of the regulatory impact statement and draft Regulations, and their public exhibition in late 2016.
We will publish details of future consultation on this page.
If you would like to receive email updates on this review, including opportunities for further participation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org