Rail industry regulatory consultation on track
The EPA’s Metropolitan Infrastructure section has held a series of information and feedback sessions for rail industry and community members to focus on recent regulatory changes requiring rolling stock operators to hold environment protection licences. Railway infrastructure operators are already required to be licensed.
EPA’s Claire Miles and Aurizon’s Catherine Peppler at the Sydney rail industry workshop
Over 100 stakeholders attended one of three workshops – an industry session in Sydney and two community sessions in Sydney or Newcastle.
EPA Regional Manager Operations – Metropolitan Infrastructure Jacinta Hanemann said there was general agreement that the priority issues are noise impacts from locomotive noise and wheel squeal, and air quality impacts from diesel locomotives.
“The rail industry’s key concern is the cost of implementing any new licence requirements and the potential to increase the volume of freight carried on road – while the community stakeholders are seeking a reduction in noise and air quality impacts and increased monitoring,” Jacinta said.
The EPA has been working on the reforms to the EPA’s regulation of the NSW operational rail network and undertook extensive consultation with the rail industry and community stakeholders in 2014 and 2016.
“The regulatory reform is geared to achieve on-the-ground and long-term benefits for the community and the environment by directly regulating all parties involved with the operational rail network
“The sessions provided an opportunity for the EPA to re-engage with relevant stakeholders, to identify and discuss priority environmental and community concerns that should be the focus of the new environment protection licences, and how these should be addressed.”
Participants’ written evaluation of the sessions showed the workshops were very well received and provided a valuable and timely opportunity for engaging with key stakeholders.
Community workshop participant John Hay said: “I’m delighted to be invited to and participate in the session and feel confident that the EPA will bring about a successful outcome”.
The Metropolitan Infrastructure team has now collated and reviewed the input and feedback from all of the stakeholders and is considering this in the development of the licences. Further engagement on the proposed content of the licences will occur in December 2019.