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What are the Regulations?
EPA is reviewing the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009 (the Regulations) to minimise impacts of industrial waste on human health and the environment.
The Regulations are an important part of Victoria’s regulatory framework for environmental protection. The Regulations categorise industrial wastes by risk profile to ensure that each is appropriately handled, stored, treated, transported and disposed of safely.
The review of the Regulations
The Regulations ‘sunset’ (or expire) on 30 June 2019 and are currently being reviewed. As part of the Victorian Government’s response to the Independent Inquiry into EPA, Parliament recently passed the Environment Protection Act 2017. This will revise the objective of EPA and reform its governance. The Government intends to introduce a further Bill in mid-2018 to overhaul the 1970 Act and replace it with modernised and fit-for-purpose legislation.
Given the timing for the development and introduction of this new legislation, EPA will now align the review of the Regulations to these broader legislative reforms. Accordingly, there will be a temporary pause on broad consultation on the Regulations until the next Bill is introduced to Parliament in mid-2018. This will ensure greater clarity on the future legislative framework and enable more informed consideration of options for future regulations. In the interim, work will continue to gather information on the issues raised to date to understand the environmental and health effects, challenges, drivers, and aspirations of the waste sector, community and other stakeholders.
What has been done so far?
The review of the Regulations focuses on the hazard categorisation of waste, reflecting the risks arising from the management of waste. EPA is reviewing the scientific understanding of what contaminants result from the generation of waste and its disposal. Drawing on current research, the new Regulations will ensure human health and environmental impacts of waste are minimised.
Understanding the impacts of waste
EPA in conjunction with partners is conducting a number of research projects and investigations aimed at understanding the impacts of industrial waste, as well as potential harms to the environment and human health. Where possible, the results of these projects are made public through technical journal articles and through the regulatory impact statement of this regulation.
The staff at EPA would like to thank everyone who has participated in this research to date, specifically those who have given information on hazardous waste market structures and participated in the waste sampling project.
The current Regulations group hazardous wastes into categories A, B and C, according to the nature and level of contamination and physical properties. The MAC and Government response points toward a more sophisticated waste framework.
Transport of prescribed industrial waste
Under the current Regulations transport certificates completed by the waste producer, transporter and receiver must include details of:
- the waste
- its source
- its destination
- the type of treatment.
Specific vehicle permits and labelling are also required. The effectiveness of the current regulations, and changes in the waste market and technology since these regulations were designed, is being investigated.
The current Regulations allow reuse and recycling of waste materials. There are a number of research projects related to resource recovery being undertaken by EPA and related organisations.
How to be involved
Thank you to all that have been involved in interviews, surveys, discussions and research investigations to date.
There will be a temporary pause on broad consultation on the Regulations until the next Environment Protection Bill is introduced to Parliament in mid-2018. This will ensure greater certainty and clarity on the future legislative framework and to enable more informed consideration of options for future regulations. In the interim, work will continue to gather information on the issues raised to date to understand the environmental and health effects, challenges, drivers, and aspirations of the waste sector, community and other stakeholders.
If you would like further information about the review of the Regulations and register for updates, please contact the Industrial Waste Resource Regulations review team by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Registered parties will be notified of upcoming engagement events, and when EPA publishes the Regulatory Impact Statement and proposed new regulations for public comment.
You can register to receive notifications of progress and engagement opportunities of the EPA reform work on the Reform EngageVic site.