EPA has reviewed the licences of three brown coal-fired power stations as part of our regular licence review program. The power stations are all located in Gippland:
- AGL Loy Yang A (Loy Yang)
- IPM Loy Yang B (Loy Yang)
- Energy Australia Yallourn (Yallourn).
We consulted with the public extensively during the review and received 493 submissions from the community.
The conditions on the licences aim to protect the local environment and provide greater transparency. Following consultation, we have made changes to all three licences with regards to air emissions and wastewater. We have changed Yallourn and Loy Yang A's licences to require rehabilitation plans for their ash landfills and dust controls. There are other new conditions for the three sites:
- We have added limits for mercury, fine particles (PM2.5) and coarse particles (PM10) to each licence.
- We have reduced air discharge limits for most parameters on each licence.
- The three power stations are required to monitor air emission continuously and share the data with the community through each company’s website. This will ensure licence non-compliances are dealt with in a transparent and timely manner.
- Yallourn is required to install a continuous emissions monitoring system to be able to monitor in real time oxides of nitrogen and sulfur dioxide (the other two power stations already have this capability).
- For consistency across the three licences, exemption hours for startups and shutdowns for Loy Yang A and Loy Yang B have been aligned to a maximum of 88 hours per year and now include exceedance of mass emission rates. Yallourn has been afforded 600 hours (reduced from 1200 hours) due to the frequency of its startups and shutdowns because of its age.
- We have added a requirement to include the monitoring of class three indicators under licence. Class three indicators are extremely hazardous substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, highly toxic or highly persistent, and which may threaten the beneficial uses of the air environment. This data will inform what additional action will be required.
- Licence holders have to continually assess the practicability of upgrading key air emission control technologies at their plants.
- Wastewater discharge limits for most parameters on each licence so that they are consistent with the Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018.
The Climate Change Act 2017 has a long-term target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In issuing these licences, EPA has acted in accordance with current policy and regulation.
The assessment report and related documents are available on Engage Victoria.
Reviewed 3 March 2021