Regulation in action
The EPA takes regulatory action to protect our environment by different means including prosecutions and enforceable undertakings. We also revisit regulations and guidelines to ensure they match the best work practices of the day.
Regulations remade to order
We continually review regulatory and policy settings across all the legislation we administer to make sure it is fit for purpose.
On 1 September, the following key regulations were remade after consultation with industry and other stakeholders. For more information on the new regulations visit
- Protection of the Environment Operations Act (General) Regulation
- Contaminated Land Management Regulation
- Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Regulation
Commencement of key environmental legislation
The Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2022 commenced on 1 September 2022. It is a key piece of environmental legislation, which requires industry to operate responsibly in order to protect the environment and community of NSW.
The EPA reviewed and consulted with stakeholders on the previous regulation and proposed changes to address the issues raised. The remade regulation includes a new licence application fee and updated and indexed existing fees to improve the EPA’s cost recovery and that of our regulatory partners.
The regulation also amends the definition of some scheduled activities in the POEO Act including ‘extractive activities’. For more information about these and other changes visit our website page .
New energy from waste regulation now in place
Communities and industry in NSW have greater certainty with the new Energy from Waste regulation now in place.
The Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Thermal Energy from Waste) Regulation 2022 puts into law the Government’s Energy from Waste Infrastructure Plan to strategically locate energy from waste operations in four designated locations in NSW, maximising efficiencies in infrastructure, waste management, innovation and energy recovery.
The regulation ensures that where it is used, energy from waste plays a sustainable role as NSW transitions towards a circular waste and resource recovery framework. Read more
PFAS firefighting foam restrictions start this month
The EPA is reminding stakeholders that further restrictions on the use of PFAS firefighting foam will be coming into effect on 26 September 2022.
This includes prohibiting the discharge of certain long-chain PFAS firefighting foams and PFAS firefighting foam from portable fire extinguishers, except when used by certain regulatory authorities in the event of a catastrophic or potentially catastrophic fire.
The sale of portable fire extinguishers containing precursors to PFAS firefighting foam will also be banned, except to certain regulatory authorities or to the owners or masters of vessels.
All that is gold does not glitter – $15,000 fine
Dust blown from Cadia Valley Operations’ mine near Orange in April has resulted in a $15,000 EPA fine for the company.
The EPA issued the fine to the operator of Cadia Gold Mine for failing to maintain appropriate levels of dust mitigation on its Northern and Southern Tailings Storage Facilities.
Cadia Valley Operations had applied a cover of hydromulch to control the dust, but the most recent EPA investigation found Cadia Valley Operations had failed to maintain an effective coverage of the dust suppressant at the two facilities. Read more
Another prosecution for alleged forestry breaches
The EPA has launched its second prosecution this year against Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) for allegedly failing to retain habitat for local wildlife, by felling giant and hollow-bearing trees in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest, near Coffs Harbour.
We allege nine breaches occurred as a result of forestry operations in 2020 including the failure of FCNSW to retain six giant trees and seven hollow bearing trees.
In addition, we allege FCNSW failed to ensure harvesting debris did not accumulate within five metres of the base of a retained tree. Such debris can be a fire hazard.
Our Director Regulatory Operations Cate Woods said protection of giant and hollow bearing trees was important because they can provide significant habitat and biodiversity value for threatened species like the koala. Read more
Penalty notices and prosecutions are two of the tools the EPA uses to achieve the best environmental or human health outcomes. Our regulatory approach includes a wide variety of options.