What's new in law

Recent significant changes to legislation administered by the EPA and related topics are listed below.

September 2019

Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment Regulation 2019

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment Regulation 2019 amends the following:

Underground petroleum storage systems regulation

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2019 remakes the Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2014 with some changes.

The Regulation introduces provisions to:

  • improve documentation of site management procedures
  • clarify some definitions to improve enforceability of requirements
  • clarify requirements for groundwater and loss monitoring systems
  • require 30-days’ notice be given to local councils of the intention to decommission an underground petroleum storage system (UPSS)
  • align best practice pollution prevention equipment for UPSS with Australian Standard 4897 – 2008: The design, installation and operation of underground petroleum storage systems

From 1 September 2019, local councils will resume their role as the main authority that regulates UPSS under the Regulation (under section 6 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997). The EPA will remain the appropriate regulatory authority for sites that hold a licence, sites which are operated by a public authority and for sites which are subject to a current EPA regulatory notice.

Find out more about underground petroleum storage systems.

July 2019

Changes to Schedule 1 of the POEO Act and the POEO (General) Regulation

The Protection of the Environment Operations Legislation Amendment (Scheduled Activities) Regulation 2019 (the Regulation) amends the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) and Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009. The Regulation amends Schedule 1 of the POEO Act by:

  • adding a new scheduled activity and licence fee for air emissions from road tunnel ventilation stacks
  • replacing the scheduled activity ‘railway systems activities’ with three new activities: ‘railway activities – railway infrastructure construction’, ‘railway activities – railway infrastructure operations’ and ‘railway activities – rolling stock operations’
  • simplifying the scheduled activity of ‘extractive activities’ by removing the distinction between water and land-based activities and only requiring a licence if the extraction or processing of extractive material is for the primary purpose of sale and
  • making minor administrative amendments to clarify definitions of certain scheduled activities

The Regulation also amends the manner of determining fees for the scheduled activities amended by the Regulation.

For more information about the changes made by the amendment regulation, please visit Amendment Regulation for scheduled activities on the EPA website. For specific information regarding the changes to ‘railway systems activities’, please visit Review of regulation of railway systems activities under the POEO Act on the EPA website.

June 2019

POEO Act fee changes and updates to categories of native forest bio-material

The Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Fees and Native Forest Bio-material) Regulation 2019 amends the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 to provide for a continuation of the annual fee increase for licence administrative fees, pollutant fee units, and fees for issuing environment protection and noise control notices over a 5-year period from 1 July 2019. The Regulation also updates the categories of native forest bio-material consequent on the repeal of the Native Vegetation Act 2003 and the commencement of Parts 5A and 5B of the Local Land Services Act 2013.

January 2019

Asbestos waste reforms

The Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Asbestos Waste) Act 2018 received assent on 28 November 2018. It amends the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (the POEO Act) to better manage and control asbestos waste in New South Wales, with changes that

  • elevate certain asbestos waste offences from the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (POEO Waste Regulation) to the POEO Act. These amendments make it an offence under the POEO Act to dispose of asbestos waste unlawfully, as well as prohibiting the re-use or recycling of asbestos waste
  • increase the penalties for those offences, as well as increasing penalties for land pollution involving asbestos waste
  • enable the EPA and local councils to issue penalty notices for the new asbestos waste offences
  • introduce the presence of asbestos as a sentencing consideration under the POEO Act
  • make related and consequential amendments to the POEO Act and
  • make consequential amendments to other legislative instruments including the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 and the POEO Waste Regulation.

In the case of introducing the presence of asbestos as a sentencing consideration, the provision will commence on a date no earlier than 12 months from the date of assent. All other changes commenced on 25 January 2019.

Protocol for calculating amount of monetary benefits

The Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Calculating Amount of Monetary Benefits) Regulation 2019 commenced on Friday 25 January 2019. Section 249 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) authorises a court to order an offender to pay an additional penalty representing the monetary benefit as part of the penalty for committing the offence. This Regulation prescribes a protocol to be used by a court in determining the amount that represents the monetary benefit acquired by an offender from committing an offence against the POEO Act or its regulations. The protocol was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 1 February 2019. The protocol provides a standardised method for calculating monetary benefits under section 249 of the POEO Act and will result in improved transparency and consistency. 

See the protocol and more information about monetary benefits.

November 2018 

Waste Management reforms

Protection of the Environment Operations Legislation Amendment (Waste) Regulation 2018

The Protection of the Environment Operations Legislation Amendment (Waste) Regulation 2018 (PDF 230KB) commenced on 16 November 2018 (noting that some amendments commence 6 months after this date) and amends the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 and the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009. The Amendment Regulation introduces a variety of amendments to better manage construction and demolition waste, landfills, and asbestos waste, with changes to introduce

  • new standards that must be met for managing construction waste at construction and demolition waste facilities
  • new concessional levy rate for ‘recovered fines’ applied as daily cover at landfills
  • new prohibitions on exhuming waste at current or former landfills
  • increased penalty notice amounts for asbestos waste offences
  • requirements relating to the transportation or disposal of asbestos waste, the use of waste as biofilters or bedding layers in a landfill, and installing video monitoring systems at scheduled waste facilities and 
  • exemptions from provisions of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014.

For more information regarding the Amendment Regulation and the new standards, please visit Construction and demolition waste on the EPA’s website.

New forestry legislation

The EPA has been responsible for overseeing the introduction of a raft of legislative instruments that make up the new forestry legislation for the state of NSW. These legislative instruments include the

  • Forestry Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (FLA Act)
  • Local Land Services Amendment (Private Native Forestry) Regulation 2018
  • Forestry Amendment Regulation 2018 (FA Regulation) and
  • Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (the Coastal IFOA)

Forestry Legislation Amendment Act 2018

The Forestry Legislation Amendment Act 2018 commenced on 9 November 2018 and amends the regulatory framework for both public and private native forestry, and enhances the EPA’s compliance and enforcement powers. The FLA Act amends the Forestry Act 2012 with respect to Crown (public) forestry and amends the Local Land Services Act 2013 with respect to private native forestry. 

More information regarding the forestry reforms can be accessed at the native forestry sections of the EPA website.

Local Land Services Amendment (Private Native Forestry) Regulation 2018

The Local Land Services Amendment (Private Native Forestry) Regulation 2018 (PDF 163KB) is made under the Local Land Services Act 2013 and updates that legislation with respect to private native forestry plans and land subject to those plans following on from the enactment of the FLA Act. 

Forestry Amendment Regulation 2018

The FA Regulation (PDF 147KB) amends the Forestry Regulation 2012 to make provisions for the continued operation of existing integrated forestry operations approvals that relate to bee-keeping and grazing activities which would otherwise be affected by the new FLA Act.

The FA Regulation also requires the payment of periodic fees relating to forest permits issued by the Forestry Corporation.

Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval

As part of the recent Forestry reforms, four existing Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs) (for Eden, Southern, Upper and Lower North East coastal regions of NSW) have been consolidated into a single, modern Coastal IFOA (comprising Coastal IFOA conditions (PDF 10MB) and Coastal IFOA protocols (PDF 19MB).

The Coastal IFOA conditions set mandatory actions and controls for protecting threatened plants, animals, habitats, soils and water. Each Coastal IFOA condition is accompanied by (non-enforceable) outcome statements that help to outline and explain the intent of what the conditions are aiming to achieve.

The Coastal IFOA protocols set out additional enforceable actions and controls to support the effective implementation of the Coastal IFOA conditions.

More information on the IFOA can be found on the Coastal IFOA  page and the Forestry reforms can be found on the Forestry regulatory reforms page.

Mixed waste organic material 

Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment (Waste Contributions Exemption) Regulation 2018

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment (Waste Contributions Exemption) Regulation 2018 (PDF 159KB) amends the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 to exempt, for a one-year period, mixed waste organic outputs from the calculation of waste contributions payable by landfills under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. The exemption is limited to waste processed at facilities approved by the Environment Protection Authority, and up to a specified amount, by notice published in the NSW Government Gazette. 

The Gazette notice (PDF 2.5MB) is available.

For more information regarding the changes to the use and application of mixed waste organic material, please visit the Mixed Waste Organic Material section of the EPA website.

July 2018

Radiation Control Act 1990 – fees amendment

The Radiation Control Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2018 (PDF 179KB) amends the Radiation Control Regulation 2013 to increase the fees payable in connection with the administration of the Radiation Control Act 1990 and to introduce a mechanism for the Regulation to allow for fees to be automatically adjusted for inflation going forward. The increases in fees are generally in line with movements in the Public Sector Wage Price Index.

December 2017

Return and Earn – NSW container deposit scheme

The NSW container deposit scheme, Return and Earn, began rolling out across NSW on 1 December 2017. A variety of legislative changes were made over the course of 2017 (primarily under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001) to assist with the establishment and ongoing management of the Return and Earn program. These legislative instruments are outlined below.

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Amendment (Supply and Collection) Regulation 2017

The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Amendment (Supply and Collection) Regulation 2017 (PDF 197KB) deals with a variety of further matters in connection with the container deposit scheme established under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001. These matters include, but are not limited to, the following

  • requirements for the marking and labelling of containers that are subject to the scheme
  • container approvals (including conditions of approvals and further grounds for refusal of approvals)
  • the circumstances in which refund amounts must not, or are not required to be, paid under the scheme
  • the manner in which refund amounts are to be paid under the scheme
  • the time within which refund amounts are to be paid under the scheme
  • the information required to be contained in refund declarations provided in connection with a claim for a refund amount under the scheme
  • the records required to be kept by collection point operators
  • prescribing a further class of persons as material recovery facility operators
  • requiring reports by the Scheme Coordinator to specify the number of containers supplied (rather than sold) by suppliers who are subject to a supply arrangement, and
  • other matters of a minor or consequential nature.

Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Penalty Notices) Regulation 2017

The Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Penalty Notices) Regulation 2017 (PDF 140KB) amends the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 in connection with container deposit scheme legislation to prescribe offences against the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001 and the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Regulation 2017 for which penalty notices may be issued by enforcement officers and the amounts payable under those penalty notices.

September 2017

Environmentally Hazardous Chemicals Regulation 2017

The Environmentally Hazardous Chemicals Regulation 2017 commenced on 1 September 2017 and remakes the provisions of the Environmentally Hazardous Chemicals Regulation 2008 with updates to fees for environmentally hazardous licences and technology assessments.

Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2017

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2017 commenced on 1 September 2017 and remakes the provisions of the Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 with changes to

  • update provisions relating to heavy vehicles that are now regulated under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (NSW)
  • improve flexibility for compliance with the labelling and limit provisions for noisy equipment by allowing European Union labelled outdoor power equipment to be sold in NSW without additional labelling and adopting an international noise metric
  • move the technical procedures for testing noise from motor vehicles and outdoor power equipment to the Approved Methods for Testing Noise Emissions
  • formalise existing testing procedures for determining noise levels from shooting ranges
  • make minor changes to definitions and remove obsolete provisions.

Pesticides Regulation 2017

The Pesticides Regulation 2017 commenced on 1 September 2017 and remakes the provisions of the Pesticides Regulation 2009 with changes to

  • introduce licensing requirements for individuals carrying out ground applicator work and requires pest management technician trainees and fumigator trainees to obtain a trainee permit from the EPA. These changes start on 1 July 2018
  • update fees for licence applications and renewals
  • provide non-licenced pesticides users with alternative training options to maintain pesticide user competency
  • simplify and streamline record keeping requirements for non-licenced pesticides users
  • require universities, from 1 July 2018, to prepare pesticides notification plans for pesticide use in public places and use pesticides in accordance with those plans
  • update the penalty amounts for penalty notice offences.

August 2017

Return and Earn – NSW container deposit scheme (cont.)

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Amendment Regulation 2017

The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Amendment Regulation 2017 (PDF 168KB) deals with a variety of consequential matters in connection with the container deposit scheme established under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001. These matters include, but are not limited to, the following

  • the performance targets to be included in a network operator agreement
  • container approvals and associated matters (such as application fees, grounds for refusal, suspensions, revocations etc.)
  • the manner in which container approvals and other documents may be served and
  • transitional arrangements relating to claims made by material recovery facility operators for the payment of processing refunds.

June 2017

The Protection of the Environment Legislation Miscellaneous Amendments Act 2017 makes a series of amendments to the

Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 to update investigation powers by adopting powers under Chapter 7 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act (POEO Act) and the methods for the service of documents.

Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991 to remove the Hunter and Illawarra Regional Environment Protection Community Consultation Forums and the NSW Council on Environmental Education.

Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 to

  • replace the requirement for newspaper advertising with a requirement to publish details of licence reviews on the Environment Protection Authority’s website and on the Public Register
  • extend the limitation period for groundwater offences and repeat waste offences from one year to three years
  • explicitly provide for the use of remotely piloted aircraft for the purposes of investigating activities regulated by the EPA, to ensure evidence collected can be used to support prosecutions and other regulatory actions but only if operated or accompanied by an authorised officer
  • remove the class of ‘supervisory licences’, which are held by local councils for privately owned and operated putrescible waste facilities
  • change licences for transporting trackable waste from being issued on a perpetual basis to fixed terms of not more than five years to align these licences with Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Act 2008 licences
  • ensure that Global Positioning System devices can be installed on trailers attached to trucks, as well as to trucks, for waste transporters

Radiation Control Act 1990 as follows

  • allow prosecutions to be heard in the Land and Environment Court (rather than the Supreme Court) consistent with other environment protection legislation
  • allow the Land and Environment court to hear appeals against EPA decisions under the Radiation Control Act and the associated regulation consistent with other environment protection legislation
  • remove the requirement for the Minister’s approval to commence prosecutions consistent with other environment protection legislation
  • increase the maximum penalty that may be imposed by Local Courts for offences under the Act and the Regulation from 100 penalty units ($11,000) to 200 penalty units ($22,000)
  • remove the statutory cap on penalty notice amounts, consistent with other environment protection legislation
  • extend the limitation period for offences under the Act from one year to two years

Most of the provisions of the Act commenced on assent, however, those provisions relating to trackable waste licences and use of remotely piloted aircraft will commence on proclamation at a later date. 

May 2017

Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 - underground petroleum storage systems amendment

The Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2017 commenced 19 May 2017 amends the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 to provide for the EPA to continue to be the appropriate regulatory authority for any matter arising under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2016 up to and including 31 August 2019.

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Regulation 2017

The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Regulation 2017, made under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001 makes provisions with respect to the following matters in connection with the container deposit scheme

  • the beverages and containers that are excluded from the operation of the scheme
  • the refund amount payable for containers
  • the classes of persons prescribed as material recovery facility operators
  • fees for applications and approvals under the Act
  • the matters that the Minister may consider in determining whether an applicant for a Scheme administration agreement is a fit and proper person
  • the approval of collection point arrangements
  • claims for refund amounts for containers processed by material recovery facility operators
  • matters required to be included in reports prepared by the Scheme Coordinator

The majority of the provisions contained in the Regulation commenced 10 March 2017, while provisions relating to collection point arrangements commenced 7 April 2017.

March 2017

Return and Earn – NSW container deposit scheme (cont.)

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Regulation 2017

The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Regulation 2017 establishes the Return and Earn scheme under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001. The Regulation prescribes the

  • beverages and containers that are excluded from the scheme
  • refund amount payable for containers
  • classes of persons prescribed as material recovery facility operators
  • fees for applications and approvals under the Act
  • matters that the Minister may consider in determining whether an applicant for a Scheme administration agreement is a fit and proper person
  • approval of collection point arrangements (including mechanisms established for the administrative review of decisions relating to applications and approvals)
  • claims for refund amounts for containers processed by material recovery facility operators, and
  • matters required to be included in reports prepared by the Scheme Coordinator.

Dangerous goods transportation

Dangerous goods transport legislation in each State or Territory is based on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Laws to provide a single set of laws to reduce the risks of personal injury, death, property damage and environmental harm arising from the transport of dangerous goods by road or rail. In NSW, the Model Laws are implemented by the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Act 2008 and the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Regulation 2014 (DG Regulation).

The Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Amendment (Revision of ADG Code) Regulation 2017 (the Amending Regulation) implements updates to the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Laws approved by the Transport and Infrastructure Council in November 2016. The Amending Regulation also updates references to and aligns the DG Regulation provisions with edition 7.5 of the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code) which commenced on 1 March 2017.

In particular, the Amending Regulation

  • updates references to the ADG Code to take into account the new edition (edition 7.5) of the Code
  • gives effect to revised placard limits in edition 7.5 of the ADG Code
  • gives effect to changes in edition 7.5 of the ADG Code that clarify when a receptacle is “appropriately marked”
  • omits requirements about licence labels for dangerous goods vehicles and offences relating to such labels
  • updates references to the new Ministerial Council called the Transport and Infrastructure Council

The Amending Regulation commenced on 1 March 2017.

Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme) Regulation 2002 (the Principal Regulation) establishes a tradeable emission scheme to provide for the management of discharges of saline water into the Hunter River. The Principal Regulation is not subject to automatic repeal after five years, but is reviewed by the Minister. The Protection of the Environment Operations (Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme) Amendment Regulation 2016 (the Amending Regulation) brings into effect the outcomes of the review.

The key changes made by the Amendment Regulation include

  • increases flow range thresholds
  • credits to be assigned to an authorised discharge point
  • administrative amendments

The Amending Regulation commenced on 15 March 2017.

Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment Regulation 2017

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment Regulation 2017 (the Amending Regulation) was published on 31 March 2017 and amends Schedule 1 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (the POEO Act) and the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (the Waste Regulation) and makes a consequential change to the penalty notice schedule in the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 (the General Regulation).

The Amending Regulation amends

(1) the Waste Regulation to

  • change the due dates for reporting and payments of the waste levy to streamline processes for both landfills and recyclers
  • enable the EPA to specify types of roads or other construction works and types of waste for an operational purpose deduction
  • provide the EPA with power to exempt community recycling centres from the requirement to pay the waste levy
  • provide that the method to measure and record waste at facilities whose occupiers are not required to pay waste contributions is a method approved by the EPA or as set out in the Waste Levy Guidelines
  • remove the requirement to provide notice to the holder of an approval or consignment authorisation prior to revoking an approval or consignment authorisation
  • require waste transporters to cover waste during transport and impart liability on the registered owner of the motor vehicle or trailer in certain circumstances
  • prescribe additional requirements under clause 111 for the defence of polluting land at an unlicensed landfill, which is a defence under section 142E of the POEO Act to a charge of pollution of land

(2) Schedule 1 of the POEO Act to

  • exclude landscaping yards that sell or supply certain landscaping material from the scheduled activities ‘waste processing’, ‘resource recovery’ and ‘waste storage’
  • exclude sites that receive and store correctly classified virgin excavated natural material from the schedule activity ‘waste storage’

(3) the POEO General Regulation to

  • allow breaches of clause 70(3) (Avoiding escape of waste during transportation) of the Waste Regulation to be dealt with by way of penalty notice

December 2016

Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010 - open burning in Lake Macquarie City amendment

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Amendment (Open Burning in Lake Macquarie City) Regulation 2016 (the Amending Regulation), made under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, amends the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010. The amendments contained in the Amending Regulation allow for the burning of domestic waste on residential premises in the City of Lake Macquarie in certain circumstances and permit Lake Macquarie City Council to approve the burning of dead and dry vegetation in certain circumstances. The Amending Regulation commenced 9 December 2016.

November 2016

Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010 - solid fuel heaters amendment

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Amendment (Solid Fuel Heaters) Regulation 2016 commenced on 1 November 2016. Made under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, the Regulation aims to

  • require domestic solid fuel heaters be marked in accordance with AS/NZS 4012:2014, Domestic solid fuel burning appliances—Method for determination of power output and efficiency (in addition to the current requirement that they be marked in accordance with AS/NZS 4013:2014, Domestic solid fuel burning appliances—Method for determination of flue gas emission)
  • prohibit falsely marking on a heater that it complies with AS/NZS 4012:2014
  • require certificates of compliance in relation to domestic solid fuel heaters to specify the overall average efficiency and appliance particulate emission factor
  • exclude pellet heaters from the operation of the restrictions on domestic solid fuel heaters

October 2016

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Container Deposit Scheme) Act 2016 No. 57

The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Container Deposit Scheme) Act 2016 (the Amending Act) received assent on 25 October 2016 and amends the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001The Amending Act establishes the container deposit scheme to promote litter reduction and the recovery, reuse and recycling of beverage containers; and for other purposes.

July 2016

Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 - risk-based licensing amendment

On 1 July 2016 the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Risk-based Licensing) Regulation 2016 (the Amendment Regulation) commenced. It amended certain un-commenced provisions of the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 (POEO General Regulation) to extend payment time for administrative fees and load-based fees in annual licence fees. It also changed the time for payment of an administrative fee associated with a redetermined environmental management category.

In particular, the Amendment Regulation introduced the following changes

  • in clause 36(1), the time for payment of the administrative fee comprised in an annual licence fee is extended to not later than 120 days (rather than 90 days) after the beginning of the licence fee period to which it relates
  • in clause 37(1), the time for payment of the load-based fee comprised in an annual licence fee is extended to not later than 120 days (rather than 90 days) after the end of the licence fee period to which it relates
  • in clause 10C(4), the time for payment of the administrative fee for a licence fee period that is adjusted as a consequence of the Environment Protection Authority redetermining the environmental management category for the licence holder is changed to not later than 60 days after the redetermination is made (rather than 60 days after the redetermination is notified to the licence holder)
  • under clause 10C(3), the adjusted administrative fee (and redetermined environmental management category) is to be notified to the licence holder in accordance with section 57(3) of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997

June 2016

Radiation Control Regulation 2013 - exemptions and fees amendment

The Radiation Control Amendment (Exemptions and Fees) Regulation 2016 (the Amending Regulation) amends the Radiation Control Regulation 2013 to make minor amendments to the existing exemptions and insert a new table of fees. The Amending Regulation

  • deletes redundant exemptions for certain sealed source devices and substances, and makes other drafting amendments
  • updates terminology to be consistent with the National Directory for Radiation Protection
  • prescribes fees for notices served by the EPA or an authorised person

The Amending Regulation was published and commenced on 24 June 2016.

October 2015

Cruise ships regulation

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Amendment (Cruise Ships) Regulation 2015 (Cruise Ships Regulation) commenced 1 October 2015 and amends the Protection of Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010 (Clean Air Regulation) and the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 (General Regulation). The Cruise Ships Regulation introduces a requirement for cruise ships berthed in Sydney Harbour to use low sulfur fuel (LSF) from 1 October 2015 and cruise ships within Sydney Harbour to use LSF from 1 July 2016.

Enforcement of gas and other petroleum legislation

The Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Enforcement of Gas and Other Petroleum Legislation) Act 2015 No. 42 (the Amending Act) received assent on 2 November 2015 and amends the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. The Amending Act makes changes to the enforcement of requirements for gas and other petroleum exploration and production authorities, and to the conditions of those authorities.

August 2015

Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment (Contributions) Regulation 2014

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment (Contributions) Regulation 2014 commenced on 1 August 2015 and amends the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 in relation to the commencement of Schedule 1 [1] of the Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Illegal Waste Disposal) Act 2013. Schedule 1 [1] to that Act removes the exemption under section 88 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 from payment of the waste contribution by licensees of waste facilities used for re-using, recovering, recycling or processing of waste other than liquid waste.

This regulation addresses the following matters related to the removal of the section 88 exemption

  • the times by which waste contributions are to be paid by occupiers of licensed waste facilities that receive waste
  • exemptions for occupiers of certain kinds of licensed waste facilities from the requirement to pay waste contributions
  • the times within which occupiers of licensed waste facilities who are required to pay waste contributions must provide the Environment Protection Authority with monthly reports in relation to the quantity and types of waste received at those facilities
  • the carrying out of periodic volumetric surveys at licensed waste facilities whose occupiers are required to pay waste contributions
  • consequential amendments
  • savings and transitional arrangements

This Regulation also amends the Protection of the Environment (General) Regulation 2009 to prescribe penalty notice offences relating to (among other things) transitional requirements for occupiers of licensed waste facilities, required to pay waste contributions because of the removal of the section 88 exemption, to provide baseline information to the EPA about those facilities.

May 2015

Pesticides Amendment Act 2015 No 3

The Pesticides Amendment Act 2015 (the Amending Act) received assent on 18 May 2015 and amends the Pesticides Act 1999. The Amending Act provides a single point for managing and licensing pesticide users and implements agreed national harmonisation reforms. It also increases protections for property occupiers from pesticide misuse and improves the administration of the Act.

February 2015

The Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Newcastle Air Monitoring) Regulation 2015 (PDF 197KB) makes provision for the establishment of the Newcastle Local Air Quality Monitoring Network. The Regulation includes provisions to

  • require holders of environment protection licences in the Newcastle local government area to pay a levy towards the cost of the monitoring program
  • calculate the amount of the levy payable by those licence holders
  • require licence holders to provide the EPA with information about emissions
  • allow persons authorised by the EPA to enter land owned or occupied by licence holders for the purposes of the operation of the monitoring program
  • require the EPA to make air quality data available on its website and to publicly report on the monitoring program

Find out more about the Newcastle Air Monitoring Regulation at the Commencement of Newcastle Local Air Quality Network Regulation webpage.

January 2015

Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Amendment (Model Law) Regulation 2015

The Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Amendment (Model Law) Regulation 2015, made under the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Act 2008, commenced 1 January 2016 and updates the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Regulation 2014 to reflect amendments made to the Model Subordinate Law on the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road or Rail 2017.

The amendments relate to duties concerning the placarding of loads, compliance with certain provisions of the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail and other minor matters.

December 2014

  • The Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (NSW Gas Plan) Regulation 2014 came into effect on 19 December 2014.
    This Regulation amends the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 to ensure that all petroleum activities are regulated consistently. It requires all petroleum exploration, assessment and production activities to hold an Environment Protection Licence issued by the EPA, provides a new administrative fee scale for this activity, and requires operators licenced for this activity to pay load-based fees on specific assessable pollutants when the annual production capacity exceeds 0.5 petajoules. Find out more about the Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (NSW Gas Plan) Regulation 2014.
  • The Protection of the Environment Legislation Amendment Act 2014 makes a series of amendments to the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (the POEO Act), the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act) and the Radiation Control Act 1990 to strengthen and align environmental penalties and alternative sentencing options. The Act also makes miscellaneous amendments to the POEO Act and the CLM Act to support timely and cost-effective enforcement by the EPA, and to the Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991. Find out more about the Protection of the Environment Legislation Amendment Act 2014.

November 2014

Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014

The majority of provisions in the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (the Waste Regulation) commenced on 1 November 2014. The Waste Regulation remakes the Protection of the Environment (Waste) Regulation 2005 (2005 Regulation) with amendments.

While the Waste Regulation retains the majority of the provisions of the 2005 Regulation, it introduces a number of changes. These changes include

  • improving resource recovery exemptions
  • prescribed wastes for land pollution offence
  • improving immobilisation of high-risk contaminants
  • land pollution defence for unlicensed landfills
  • additions to operational purpose deductions
  • reduced licensing thresholds for waste activities
  • waste tracking for waste transported outside NSW
  • waste tyre monitoring and licensing
  • asbestos waste monitoring requirements
  • reforming the waste levy framework
  • new reporting requirements for waste facilities

In doing so, the Waste Regulation aims to provide the EPA’s ability to protect human health and the environment and paves the way for a modern and fair waste industry in NSW.

October 2014

August 2014

July 2014

April 2014

March 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

September 2013

September 2012

  • The Protection of the Environment Administration Regulation 2012 remakes the Protection of the Environment Administration Regulation 2005 with no amendments. The Regulation makes provision for members of the Board of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to make disclosures of interests as required by clause 7(3) of Schedule 1 of the Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991. In particular, the Regulation sets out requirements relating to the time that disclosures should be made and the form of such disclosures; prescribes the types of interests to be disclosed, including interests in real property, sources of outside income, gifts, contributions to travel, interests and positions in corporations, positions in associations, debts and dispositions of property; and includes requirements for keeping a Register of Disclosures by members of the Board and for inspecting the register. This Regulation is administered by the EPA.

February and March 2012

The NSW Government introduced the Protection of the Environment Legislation Amendment Act 2011 to amend the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act). The new provisions came into force in February and March 2012.

The Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Pollution Incident Response Management Plans) Regulation 2012 amends the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 to prescribe certain matters relating to the form, content, testing and availability of pollution incident response management plans. The Amendment Regulation commenced on 29 February 2012. You can find further information about pollution incident response management plans here.

The changes to the POEO Act include

  • if there is a pollution incident, all relevant authorities have to be notified immediately
  • the maximum penalty for failing to notify a pollution incident (in accordance with the POEO Act) has been doubled to $2 million
  • licensees have to prepare and implement pollution incident response management plans
  • licensees have to publish monitoring results or otherwise make them available to the public
  • in certain instances, the EPA and Ministry of Health can require payment for analysing the human health and environmental risks arising from an incident
  • the EPA has greater powers to require a mandatory environmental audit
  • industry has to provide more information to the public, and make this available online

The Protection of the Environment Legislation Amendment Act 2011 page provides further details on these new requirements.

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