CICCC Update—18 March 2010 Meeting

EPA Presentation on Licensing Reform

At the CICCC meeting on 18 March 2010, Jason Borg (Acting Director Business Development) made a detailed submission on the Licence Reform process now underway within EPA. By way of introduction, Jason advised that the focus for EPA will be to be transparent, consistent and to reconnect with the community. While the original goal of EPA when it was established in 1970 was to address gross pollution through prescriptive licensing, in today’s more sophisticated society the needs are different. The current focus will be on local pollution issues and supporting companies to address today’s challenges such as overuse of resources, climate change and conflicts arising from encroachment of people living next to industry.

Key points of the licence reform process include:

  • The aim of licensing will be increased consistency across sectors and regions, a greater focus on environmental outcomes, and more standardised conditions.
  • As well as the traditional emphasis on environmental risk, EPA will manage new licences by considering the risk of non-compliance, arising out of factors such as the age of the plant and the quality of the facility management.
  • Annual compliance reporting by the company will be performed using an “annual performance statement”, signed off by the company CEO. The onus of compliance will remain with the company, and companies will be expected to explain how all non-compliances (which must be immediately reported) have been addressed.
  • For some sites, the review of their draft reformed licence will include a period of consultation with the community. EPA encourages licence-holders to maintain existing relationships with the community.
  • Submission and approval of Environment Improvement Plans (EIPs) will not be required by any licences other than Accredited Licences. Removing this requirement will not affect the operation of any voluntary EIP a licence-holder may have developed with the community. As an Accredited Licencee, Terminals Pty Ltd at Coode Island will be required to continue to develop EIPs for the facility.
  • To improve compliance, EPA will target efforts in the right places, using a risk-based approach. This may mean more random and targeted audits, site visits, enforcement actions and other specific actions.

Terminals Report – Incidents

Terminals provided details of seven incidents at the facility during the last three months. The incidents included one minor injury, four cases where an unusual or dangerous action had occurred, and two cases of customer errors. In every case management actions have been taken to address the issues, and to avoid their repetition.

Next meeting of the CICCC

The next meeting of the CICCC will be held on Thursday 13 May 2010 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm. At that meeting the Chairman of EPA, Cheryl Batagol, will attend the meeting. Any interested member of the community is welcome to attend the CICCC meetings. The dates for the following meetings in 2010 are 19 August and 18 November.

Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 22 March 2010