NSW Environment Protection Authority Releases Draft Regulation on Construction and Demolition Waste

Wednesday 15 November 2017 @ 11.44 a.m. | Legal Research

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has released a draft regulation, the Protection of the Environment Operations Legislation Amendment (Waste) Regulation 2017 (NSW) ('the draft Regulation'), which pertains to the management, production and use of materials recovered from construction waste. The draft regulation seeks to ensure that waste is sorted appropriately, the quality of recovered materials is maintained and health and the environment are protected.

Background to Draft Regulation

The EPA has highlighted that the construction and demolition waste sector has potential to return recovered material into the economy and into the environment but there are currently minimal environmental controls and lack of efficient procedures that do not maximise the sustainable and safe recovery of resources. These risks included public health concerns such as exposure to contaminated products including asbestos waste. The draft Regulation is based on feedback from stakeholders, an industry working groups, and on draft standards developed from the input from these parties.

The changes complemented the NSW Government’s Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2014-21 and the Waste Less Recycle More Programme.

Draft Regulation and Main Proposed Amendments

The EPA hasstated on their website that the aim of the draft Regulation is to ‘drive further resource recovery and address poor waste practices’.

The draft Regulation mainly focuses on setting standards to ensure that there is appropriate management, production and use of materials recovered from construction waste. The proposed draft Regulation amends the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW), the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (NSW) and the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 (NSW).

If the draft Regulation is notified, some of the further changes would be:

  • The improvement of landfill performance;
  • Improving the ways in which asbestos waste is handled;
  • Banning the exhuming of waste from landfills except for certain circumstances;
  • Better monitoring of waste at licensed facilities;
  • Changing land pollution offences and changing licencing requirements for a small number of activities to clarify resource recovery exemptions;
  • Providing for the issue of penalty notices for some offences.

Future Directions

Public consultation is open until 5pm on 12 December 2017.

TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

Sources:

Construction Waste Management Reforms  - NSW Environmental Protection Authority.

[Draft] Protection of the Environment Operations Legislation Amendment (Waste) Regulation 2017 (NSW) and explanatory materials, as published on TimeBase LawOne.

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