12 New NSW Protection of the Environment Operations
From 1 November 2014 the Protection of the Environment
Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (2014 Regulations) will clarify
the responsibility of generators and processors of immobilised
waste, including recipient landfills.
IMMOBILISATION CONTAMINANT APPROVALS
The 2014 Regulations remove general and specific approvals and
introduce an immobilised contaminants approval that helps to
clarify and strengthen the immobilisation approval framework.
Similar to the 2005 Regulations, the EPA may grant an approval, an
immobilised contaminants approval, which allows the person granted
the approval to classify waste after the waste has been treated and
An immobilised contaminants approval is an authorisation from
the EPA for waste to be classified as designated waste after it has
been treated with specific techniques. The techniques immobilise
contaminants in the waste and specified tests are carried out to
determine the extent to which this has occurred. The immobilisation
allows for the waste to be used or disposed of in a manner that it
could not have been prior to that process. This process is governed
by the immobilisation contaminant approval.
If an approval is granted to a specific person that authorises
the waste to be taken for disposal, storage or use to a specified
waste facility only, that person will be given written notice. All
other approvals will be published in the Gazette.
Non-compliance, including record keeping, with an approval is
subject to maximum penalties of $22,000 for a corporation and up to
$11,000 for an individual.
DESIGNATED WASTE CERTIFICATES
The major change to this framework is the issuing of designated
waste certificates to confirm the waste has been correctly treated
for re-use or disposal. Under the 2014 Regulations people who deal
with waste that is subject to an immobilised contaminants approval
are required to issue a certificate confirming the waste has been
treated in accordance with EPA requirements, before being re-used
The penalty for not providing adequate certificates is up to
$22,000 for a corporation and $11,000 for an individual.
This amendment requires parties that have an immobilised
contaminants approval to provide certificates. Wording of the
certificates must take into account the requirements of the 2014
Regulations to ensure compliance.
There is also a requirement for occupiers of waste facilities
not to receive any unauthorised designated waste. This also carries
a heavy penalty.
The 2014 Regulations grant the EPA power to impose requirements
on occupiers of waste facilities through the creation of an
immobilisation order, a separate document to the above certificate.
The orders apply to the operators who store, dispose or otherwise
use waste subject to an immobilised contaminants approval. Waste
facilities that do not comply with an immobilisation order are
liable to penalties up to $22,000 for a corporation and $11,000 for
SIMPLIFIED IMMOBILISATION OF CONTAMINANTS FOR ALL INVOLVED
The 2014 Regulations aim to more clearly identify the waste
classification and regulatory requirements which apply to each
person involved in any stage of the processing of waste subject to
an immobilisation approval. In order for someone to dispose or
re-use that waste, the new regulations specify the action and
treatment to be undertaken.
The introduction of the designated waste certificates will
promote confidence for facilities receiving waste and the community
at large, that waste subject of an immobilised contaminants
approval has been treated appropriately. Immobilisation orders
clarify the separate obligations or operational requirements for
waste facilities using that waste.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This legal update is an overview of existing eligible project activities and new project types proposed to be developed.
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