The statutory timeframe for registration by companies
required to prepare Environment and Resource Efficiency Plans
("EREPs") is fast approaching.
Does my company need to register?
On 31 March 2008, unless an exemption is in force, occupiers
of premises which carry out a "scheduled activity" as
at 1 January 2008 must register with the EPA.
Occupiers seeking an exemption from the requirement to
prepare an EREP must apply to the EPA for an exemption by 31
Occupiers which fail to register or apply for an exemption
may receive a penalty of approximately $6,600.
Is my operation a "scheduled activity"?
A scheduled activity is defined in section 4 of the
Environment Protection Act 1970 as:
(a) "the use at a premises of environmental resources in
excess of the threshold prescribed for resources of a kind
prescribed for the purposes of this definition; or
(b) the disposal of waste off-site from a premises in excess
of the threshold prescribed for wastes of a kind prescribed
for the purpose of this definition."
The Environment Protection (Environment and Resource
Efficiency Plans) Regulations 2007 clarify this somewhat
confusing definition by setting out what is included within the
definition of "environmental resources", along with
the prescribed amounts.
"Environmental resources" are:
energy and energy sources. Energy comprises electricity
(whether from renewable or other, sources) and, if used to
provide energy, steam and compressed air. Energy sources are
set out in Schedule 1 to the Regulations and include fuels
derived from coal, petroleum products and sulphur (when
converted to electricity) as well as a range of other
The prescribed thresholds are the use of:
100 terajoules of energy; or
120 megalitres of water,
in any trigger year, being the financial year (beginning on
1 July 2006 or subsequent year) in which the scheduled activity
The EPA's website contains an online assessment tool which businesses
can use to assess their resource use and determine whether they
are required to register.
How do I register?
You can register your premises online via the EPA's website. When you log on for
the first time you will need to create a new user account to
obtain a user ID and password.
Can I seek an exemption from the requirement to
Under Regulation 7, a person may apply in writing to the EPA
for an exemption from the requirement to register. Exemptions
will be granted if the EPA is satisfied that:
the energy or water use which exceeded the threshold was
uncharacteristically high; or
the activity which exceeded the threshold will cease or
substantially change within 24 months immediately following
the trigger year, such that the energy or water use will fall
below the threshold levels.
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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