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Financial assurance was introduced as a regulatory tool following a number of incidents where EPA conducted a cleanup. This is intended to prevent the Victorian community bearing the resulting financial cost.
The Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017 specify which scheduled activities must submit financial assurance. These include premises that have licences to conduct prescribed industrial waste management, landfills, bulk storage and container washing.
Three publications were released in 2016 providing guidance to industries requiring financial assurance:
These documents replace Guidelines for determining financial assurances – Schedule 4 premises (publication 456) and Determination of financial assurance for landfills (publication 777).
Updates have recently been made to the following publications that describe how to comply with financial assurance requirements:
- Licence management (publication 1322) sets out the financial assurance conditions that will be embedded in the licence based on scheduled premises. Refer to page 40 of the guideline for more details.
- Closed landfill guidelines (publication 1490) sets out the minimum requirements for complying with financial assurance. Refer to page 17 of the guideline for more details.
- Remedial notices policy (publication 1418) describes how financial assurance is included as a requirement of a pollution abatement notice (PAN).
All sites that have a licence condition to maintain a financial assurance will be reviewed against the reformed model. EPA will prioritise the implementation based on risk and will work with duty holders to agree to feasible timeframes for submitting a financial assurance.
Financial assurance proposals should be prepared using the guidance documents above and address the following components (at a minimum):
- amount (including supporting calculations)
- type/s – if the proposed type is not a bank guarantee, the proposal should include a justification and how risks to EPA are managed through use of the proposed type
- an overview of the premises and operations
- an overview of the company
- any information supporting the environmental track record of the company.
Financial assurance proposals should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
The need for landfill calculations to assessed by an EPA-appointed auditor
From January 2019, EPA will be requiring an EPA-appointed auditor to calculate landfill financial assurance estimates, as opposed to just a ‘suitably qualified person’. This new requirement, and the assessment form that goes with it, will enable a more streamlined and time-efficient approval process that minimises back and forth between duty holders and EPA.
In the new year, EPA requests for financial assurance calculations will focus on landfills or portions of landfills that do not already have a financial assurance. If you would like to provide input on how the new calculations can be rolled out in the easiest way for licence holders, contact the financial assurance team on email@example.com
Amending or releasing financial assurances
Duty holders can use Application for amendment or release of financial assurance
(form F1002) to apply for an amendment to an existing financial assurance or a release of financial assurance.
Duty holders may apply for an amendment to the amount of financial assurance when there is a change to the environmental conditions underpinning the calculation of the approved financial assurance amount, by contacting EPA via firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications for release of financial assurance should be submitted after EPA has confirmed the corresponding surrender of the licence or notice revocation.
Applications must be accompanied by sufficient evidence supporting an amendment or release of financial assurance to assist EPA to assess the application as quickly as possible.