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EPA Victoria – July 2017 update

By 27/07/2017 August 31st, 2017 No Comments

Temporary Storage of PIW at Unlicensed Sites:

Changes to the “Environmental Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017” include the ability to store some PIW without a works approval or licence. This applies to sites that operate as transfer stations, or public utility depots, that want to store asbestos and businesses that want to temporarily store liquid 30XY wastes for up to 60 days. If a site would like to temporarily store up to 10 cubic metres of double wrapped, non-friable asbestos (not within 100 m of a sensitive receptors), or up to 1000 litres of liquid waste, the site must register the temporary storage through the EPA Interaction Portal. This could be used to store asbestos or contaminated muds/slurries during and after and emergency event with reduced paperwork and cost to Councils.

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Changes to the Requirements for Reprocessing E-Waste in Victoria:

From 25 June 2017, the Scheduled Premises Regulations requires premises in Victoria with the capacity to reprocess more than 500 tonnes of specified e-waste per year to apply for an EPA works approval before they build or modify and an EPA licence to operate. According to the regulations, specified electronic waste means waste rechargeable batteries, cathode ray tube monitors and televisions, flat panel monitors and televisions, information technology and telecommunications equipment, lighting and photovoltaic panels.

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Glass Reprocessing in Victoria:

Reprocessing of glass generally refers to the crushing or grinding of waste glass from bottles, windows and other sources. It can result in a range of offsite impacts including particle emissions and odour from the processing and storage of glass fines. Glass fines can also have undesirable impacts on surface waters if allowed to enter waterways. From 25 June 2017, the Scheduled Premises Regulations requires premises in Victoria with the capacity to reprocess more than 10,000 tonnes of glass waste per year to apply for an EPA works approval before they build or modify, and an EPA licence to operate.

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Stockpile Fires:

Multiple waste processing stockpile fire over recent months have sparked a review of stockpiles statewide, by a specially formed Audit Taskforce. The taskforce will comprise Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Emergency Management Victoria (EMV). The taskforce will audit recycling facilities across Victoria, to identify and prioritise sites that require action such as a Fire Management Plan to better protect community. To ensure the taskforce has sufficient support to deliver immediate action, the Minister intends to declare, under section 18B of the Environment Protection Act 1970, an interim waste management policy to require facilities to store materials in a manner that minimises risk to human health and the environment. It will outline requirements for appropriate storage of recyclable materials, require risk assessment by operators, and compliance with fire services guidelines. Non-compliance with this interim policy could lead to sanctions under the Environment Protection Act 1970. The interim policy will remain in place for 12 months while a more permanent solution is finalised. The Environment Protection Bill 2017, which is currently before Parliament, will further clarify EPA’s role as a protector of human health and the environment.

Most Council facilities have been assessed as not having significant volumes of stockpiled materials to warrant auditing by the Taskforce at this time.

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