Load Based Licensing encourages cleaner production by requiring some environment protection licence holders to pay part of their licence fees based on the amount of pollutants they are releasing into the environment.
The scheme has been active in NSW since 1999 with the publication of the issues paper marking the first major review.
EPA Chief Environmental Regulator Mark Gifford said the review of the scheme aimed to improve its effectiveness in reducing air emission and water pollutants.
“The Load Based Licensing Scheme has been an important regulatory tool for over 15 years, but it’s time to update it,” Mr Gifford said.
“The issues paper we have released examines how the scheme has been working and identifies opportunities for improvement.
“After we’ve gathered views, we’ll craft a proposal paper that will set out our recommended changes and an assessment of any likely financial impacts on licensee,” continued Mr Gifford.
“While this issues paper doesn’t set out an exact proposal for change yet, it is a starting point for genuine consultation on where we can take Load Based Licensing for the next 15 years.”
Licensees who were invited to participate in a preliminary survey indicated strong support for the principles of the scheme and identified a number of elements that could be improved.
Importantly, many indicated that the scheme provided an incentive to improve their environmental performance and uphold their corporate environmental responsibilities.
A copy of the draft issues paper and companion products are available on the EPA’s website.