Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Environment protection licences

From pilot to a formal scheme

The Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme is implemented under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme) Regulation 2002.

The Regulation builds on the success of a pilot scheme that operated from 1995 by enhancing the pilot's framework to ensure water quality objectives continue to be achieved. The key changes included:

  • extending credit lifespan to 10 years (compared with 1-2 years under the pilot scheme)
  • re-allocation of 20% of credits every two years through credit auctions   
  • revised river flow classifications and discharge rules to provide greater environment protection
  • ongoing input from stakeholders to the scheme's Operations Committee (chaired by the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority) 
  • continued provision of the scheme's river monitoring, modelling and river register services by the NSW Office of Water as the scheme's Services Coordinator.


Stakeholders provided effective feedback on the draft Regulation and RIS (March 2001) in consultation meetings and in the 38 written submissions that were received. The Regulation commenced on 1 December 2002.

Page last updated: 18 June 2013