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Environment law and policy tracker

Thursday, 13 June 2019 5:12pm

Highlights include a review of rules for earning carbon credits from facility upgrades. Jobs include positions with SunWater, Cardno, Umwelt, the Clean Energy Regulator, and councils.

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Upcoming events:

  • Climate essentials: A short course A June 17 one-day course in Canberra, offered by the ANU Climate Change Institute.
  • Human Health Risk Assessment A June 17 and 18 workshop in Sydney, hosted by CRC CARE.
  • Adapting climate science for business A June 19 conference in Sydney, hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute.
  • Innovation needs for two degrees A June 19 lunchtime briefing in Canberra, featuring Energy Transitions Commission commissioner Robert Trezona.
  • Safeguard mechanism A June 19workshop in Brisbane, hosted by the Clean Energy Regulator.
  • Mined land rehabilitation A June 19 to 21 conference in Newcastle, hosted by CRCCARE.
  • Safeguard mechanism A series of two-hour briefings in major cities (June 19 to 27), hosted by the Clean Energy Regulator.
  • Human health risk assessment A June 24 and 25 workshop in Melbourne, hosted by CRC CARE.
  • Healthy waterways: Environmental contamination and management of aquatic resources A June 24 symposium in Sydney, with speakers including Joe Pera and Dr Lisa Golding.
  • Human health risk assessment A June 27 and 28 workshop in Perth, hosted by CRC CARE.
  • The state-of-energy-research conference A July 3 and 4 conference in Canberra, hosted by the Energy Research Institutes Council for Australia.
  • Carbon farming conference and expo An August 5 to 8 event in Albury, hosted by Carbon Farmers of Australia.
  • Waste-to-energy conference An August 26 to 28 conference in Canberra, hosted by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association.

National:

  • A new review of an Emissions Reduction Fund method that is designed to allow large facilities to earn carbon credits will examine the eligibility of projects at coal-fired power stations (see background here).
  • Statutory development: The Energy Security Board has released its final Retailer Reliability Obligation rules package, which will take effect on July 1.
  • The Department of the Environment and Energy has released a revised version of the national halon management strategy, which deals with issues including import controls, reduced use and destruction.
  • The federal environment department has certified metal recycler Future Recycling as carbon neutral, making it Australia's first waste company to be certified under the National Carbon Offset Standard.
  • The Australian Conservation Foundation has won its court appeal against the EPBC assessment of Adani's North Galilee Water Scheme after the federal government conceded it did not properly consider more than 2,000 public submissions, partly due to losing some.
  • Teewana Farm Pty Ltd has submitted an EPBC referral to construct and operate a PV 9.9 MW solar farm in Gidgegannup, Western Australia.
  • New resource: The CDP has released a global report analysing company responses to its 2018 climate questionnaire.
  • The Department of Environment and Energy has granted a hazardous waste export permit to Lex Enviro Services to export up to 6,000 tonnes of lead waste and scrap from used lead acid batteries for reclamation at Korea Zinc in South Korea.
  • Carbon offset providers that have an approved ERF project, or have lodged an application with the Regulator to approve a new project, can now apply to participate in next month's ERF auction (see background here).
  • A new report, commissioned by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, says Australia could annually generate 245TWh from rooftop PV if suitable rooftop space was fully utilised (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Submissions close August 7 on the impact statement and draft variation to the Ambient Air Quality National Environment Protection Measure (see background here).

Queensland:

  • Queensland's Department of Environment and Science has approved the groundwater ecosystem management plan for Adani's Carmichael coal mine, two weeks after it approved the company's management plan for the endangered black-throated finch.
  • The councils of Logan City, Ipswich City, Redland City, Lockyer Valley and Somerset are inviting tenders to provide waste resource recovery services.
  • Court ruling: A waste management company has been fined $18,000 and ordered to pay $6,006.89 in investigation costs, $750 in legal costs, after it pleaded guilty to contravening a condition of its environmental approval.
  • The state government's Budget papers show it will use $100 million of its waste levy revenue to help launch its new clean energy generation agency (see background here).
  • Have your say – last chance!: The state government is seeking comments by June 17 on its resource recovery industries draft 10-year roadmap and Action Plan by June 17.
  • Grant opportunity – last chance!: The state government is inviting applications by July 2 for a share in $1.5 million in grants for projects to protect threatened species, with individual grants of up to $100,000 available.

NSW:

  • Have your say!: Submissions are due by July 5 on the proposed Dams Safety Regulation 2019.
  • Court ruling: Sydney District Court has sentenced former rugby league football player Martin Kennedy to a three-year suspended sentence, requiring him to carry out 700 hours of community service, after he pleaded guilty to importing and exporting native and regulated animals.
  • The EPA has issued a prevention notice to a waste company after discovering gas cylinders containing sulphur dioxide on its site "that are in a visually poor condition" (see background here).
  • Grant opportunity: Applications will open on July 1 for a share of $1.16 million in climate resilience grants available to the state’s local governments (see background here).
  • Grant opportunity – last chance!: The EPA is offering business recycling grants as a part of its six-year $5.46 million Circulate program, for projects recovering materials that would be otherwise sent to landfill. Applications close on June 28, with a total of $2.5 million available.
  • Award opportunity – last chance!: Nominations are due by July 1 for the annual Green Globe awards that will recognise sustainability leaders across 12 categories.
  • Grant opportunity – last chance!: The EPA is inviting applications by June 27 for a share in $2.6 million in grants for projects to improve organic waste collection. Grants of up to $1.3 million are available to councils for residential collection projects, with up to $500,000 on offer to companies and councils for projects targeting businesses.

ACT:

  • Statutory development: The state's Water Resources Amendment Bill 2019 has been passed by the Legislative Assembly, making two technical amendments to the state's Water Resources Act 2007.
  • The ACT government has scheduled scheduled as part of its consultation on single-use plastics. Comments on the paper are due by the end of July (see background here).
  • Grant opportunity – last chance!: Applications close June 26 for the third round of the state's Community Zero Emissions Grants, with a total of $163,000 available for community-led projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Have your say!: The government is inviting comments by July 3 on a draft environment code of practice for automotive industries.
  • Have your say!: The government is inviting comments by July 10 on the management of invasive animals, including proposed changes to the Pest Animals Declaration and Exempt Animals Declaration.

Victoria:

  • The EPA is seeking expressions of interest by July 10 for councils interested in participating in an expanded version of its Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment scheme, which places EPA authorised officers with councils.
  • Have your say!: The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is seeking comments by June 30 on the Forests (Licences and Permits) Regulations 2009, which are due to sunset on December 8.
  • The Firefighters Union has warned of a 'stash and burn' trend in parts of the waste industry, and says major paint companies were clients of one waste facility that caught fire (see background here).
  • The state's Supreme Court will in August decide whether to approve a proposed settlement of a class action over the fire at SKM Services Pty Ltd's Coolaroo recycling plant in Melbourne (see background here).
  • The Victorian Auditor-General's Office has issued a report on waste management that found the state spends too little on recovering resources from waste, has over-estimated recycling rates, and isn't managing the sector strategically (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Comment closes July 22 on the Combet report, which recommends that Victoria aim for up to a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (see background here).
  • Grant opportunity – last chance!: Applications close on June 21 for the Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants which will provide grants of up to $5,000 for grassroots programs.
  • Have your say – last chance!: The government is inviting comments by June 30 on five Regional Forest Agreements.

Tasmania:

  • The state government will implement a container deposit scheme by 2022 (see background here).
  • Have your say!: Submissions are due by September 21 to a review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act.

South Australia:

  • Environment Minister David Speirs has announced the imminent state budget will allocate an extra $12 million over four years to support recycling (see background here).
  • Grant opportunity: Applications close August 2 for round one grants under the Greener Neighbourhoods program, with a total of $1 million available to Adelaide councils to increase tree canopy and green cover.

Western Australia:

  • The EPA has released a background paper marking the start of its second attempt this year to develop guidance on how it will consider greenhouse gas emissions when assessing projects (see background here).
  • The Department of Water and Environment Regulation is inviting comments by August 16 on the proposed Compliance and Enforcement Policy.
  • Have your say!: The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is seeking comments by July 24 on proposed changes to waste regulations that would require the use of weighbridges at levy-liable landfills.
  • Have your say!: Comments are due by July 12 on a new discussion paper on single-use plastics (see background here).

Northern Territory:

  • Have your say - last chance!: Comments are due by June 21 on 'No-Go Zones' for petroleum exploration proposed by the government.

Jobs and appointments:


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