What are load reduction agreements (LRAs)?
LRAs are voluntary agreements between licensees and the EPA that provide immediate fee reductions for companies willing to commit to future reductions of assessable pollutants. It often takes time to implement new technology to reduce pollution. LRAs provide fee savings that can be used during this time to invest in improved environmental performance.
How do they work?
The licensee nominates an 'agreed' load below their current annual 'actual' load (in kilograms per annum) for each assessable pollutant to be included in the agreement. During the term of an LRA, the licensee reports the agreed load in their licence annual return and fees are calculated as though the agreed load has been achieved, giving immediate fee reductions.
Agreements last for a maximum of four years, giving licensees up to three years to implement upgrades and one to demonstrate attainment of agreed lower annual loads.
To ensure that the environmental improvements achieved under the agreement are ongoing, the agreed load for each nominated pollutant will become the annual load limit at the end of the agreement. If at the end of an LRA, the agreed loads have not been achieved, the licensee must repay the excess fee reductions with interest.
For more information about LRAs, download Load Reduction Agreements: Freeing funds for environmental improvements (PDF 194KB).
Applications forms for an LRA are available here.