New waste regulations in NSW may impact final land use alternatives

04 December 2014

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 (the Waste Regulation) commenced in 11 November 2014. Section 71 of the Waste Regulation describes the application of the ‘Proximity Principle’ for waste transportation. It is now an offence to transport waste generated in NSW, by motor vehicle, more than 150 kilometres from the place of generation. An exception exists where no lawful facility exists within 150km of the place of generation, for which transportation to one of the two nearest lawful disposal facilities is permitted.

Fines for a penalty notice for this offence begin at $15,000 for corporations and $7,500 for individuals, with significant penalties of up to $44,000 potentially imposed by a court on conviction for this offence.

The Waste Regulation has the potential to limit the use of final voids as a landfill, as sources of waste will be limited to those 150km from the facility, unless the facility remains one of the two closest facilities to the source of waste.

These changes affect any operators considering development of a landfill as a final land use for a mine or quarry. RWC recommends that where this is relevant, Clients review rehabilitation plans in light of this legislation to ensure that a landfill remains a viable option. For more information on potential rehabilitation planning options please contact Rob Corkery in the Brooklyn office, Mitchell Bland in the Orange office or your RWC project manager.

Further information on the ‘Proximity Principle’ is available on the EPA’s website 

http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/proximityprinciple.htm