Chemical control orders

Chemical control orders (CCOs) create extra rules and restrictions for chemicals and chemical wastes that are particularly hazardous.

CCOs are created under Part 3, Division 5 of the Environmentally Hazardous Chemicals Act 1985 (EHC Act) and are used where controls on chemicals or chemical wastes are required beyond current pollution laws to limit their potential or actual impact on the environment.

Each CCO sets out requirements for handling these chemicals throughout their life cycle and may specify extra licence conditions for some activities.

CCOs address the stockpiling of chemical wastes and target substances that are highly persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic, including chemicals that are toxic in very low doses. A CCO can be made in relation to

  • single substances
  • groups of substances, such as scheduled chemicals
  • particular waste streams, such as aluminium smelter wastes

There are six CCOs in place in NSW

Making chemical control orders

The first step in making a CCO is an assessment of a chemical or the declaration of a chemical substance as being a chemical waste for the purpose of the EHC Act. It may follow assessments at a national level and international chemicals agreements to which Australia is a signatory.

Stakeholder submissions on proposed CCOs are considered in the determination to create a CCO.

CCOs are published in the NSW Government Gazette and take effect from the specified date. They remain in force until a repeal notice is published in the Gazette.

Appeals against a CCO can be made within 30 days of the gazettal of the order.  For information about objections and appeals, see Division 5, Part 6 of the EHC Act.

Offences and penalties

If you are handling a substance that is subject to a CCO, you must comply with the CCO requirements and associated licence conditions. Failure to comply is an offence under the EHC Act.

The maximum penalties for these offences are

  • $137,500 (corporation)
  • $66,000 (individual)

For more information, contact Environment Line.

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