Is your EPA licence up to date? New regulations for scheduled premises in Victoria

Authors: Elisa de Wit, Victoria Vilagosh Publication | July 2017

The Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017 (2017 Regulations) have now taken effect, introducing a number of changes. In particular, operators of premises that reprocess electronic waste or glass or emit fine particles should be aware that they may now need a works approval or licence to operate. A person who operates a scheduled premises without a licence may be liable to a penalty of up to $373,104.

The 2017 Regulations took effect on 25 June 2017, replacing the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 2007 (2007 Regulations), which were due to sunset on 26 June 2017. These regulations define which activities are required to obtain an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) works approval or licence and/or provide financial assurance.

The Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for the 2017 Regulations was released in October 2016. As we set out in our previous update, the RIS proposed that the 2007 Regulations be remade with limited reforms to provide certainty and improve functionality. The regulatory framework for scheduled premises will be more comprehensively reviewed as part of the implementation of the recommendations of the independent inquiry into the EPA.

The table below summarises the key changes which will take effect under the 2017 Regulations. If your business engages in one of the activities listed below, you should consider whether you need to update your works approval or EPA licence.

Activity Effect of 2017 Regulations Refer to
Electronic waste reprocessing

Larger-scale re-processors of electronic waste (that process over 500 tonnes per year) are now required to obtain a works approval and/or licence.

Existing premises must apply by 25 January 2018.

Schedule 1, category A02

Regulation 16
Glass reprocessing

Facilities that have the capacity to reprocess more than 10 000 tonnes of glass waste per year are now required to obtain a works approval and/or licence.

Existing premises must apply by 25 January 2018.

Schedule 1, category H05

Regulation 16
Emission of fine particles The exemptions for premises that emit fine particles are now more limited in scope. This reflects a growing body of research that indicates that fine particles have adverse health effects. Regulation 10(a)(v)(A)
Small municipal landfills Works approval exemptions are now only available for small municipal landfills in use prior to 25 June 2017. Schedule 1, category A05
Temporary storage of asbestos

There are now limited exemptions for works approval and licensing requirements if certain conditions are met.

Regulation 12(1)(d)
Temporary storage of lower-hazard liquid wastes

There are now limited exemptions for works approval and licensing requirements if certain conditions are met.

Regulation 12(1)(e)
Potable water treatment Potable water treatment plants are no longer classified as scheduled premises. Schedule 1, previously category K03
Modification works at sewage treatment plans by water corporations Water corporations are now exempt from works approval requirements for some modification works at sewage treatment plants. Schedule 1, category A03
Organic waste processing (previously known as composting)

The description of organic waste processing has been modified to clarify the descriptions and thresholds for requirements for premises processing organic waste.

Regulation 5, and Schedule 1, category A07
Animal industries

The description of animal industries has been modified for clarity. It now specifically identifies ‘piggeries, cattle feedlots, sheep feedlots, goat feedlots, goat dairies or dairy freestalls’ as scheduled premises.

Regulation 5, and Schedule 1, category B01 
Beverage manufacturing The description of beverage manufacturing has been modified to introduce an exemption for processing works with a production capacity of less than 300 kilolitres per year that discharge or deposit waste solely to land. Regulation 5, and Schedule 1, category D09

A number of other minor and administrative changes have been made.

Please contact our Environment and Planning team if you require further information about how these changes may affect you.


Contacts

Elisa de Wit

Elisa de Wit

Melbourne
Victoria Vilagosh

Victoria Vilagosh

Melbourne