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Eligibility criteria and standard conditions for screening
(more than 100,000 tonnes but not more than 1 million
tonnes of material in a year) (ERA 16) – Version 2
This document provides eligibility criteria and standard conditions for Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) 16 Extractive and screening activities at threshold 3b - screening more than 100,000 tonnes but not more than
1 million tonnes of material in a year.
Eligibility criteria are constraints set to ensure environmental risks associated with the operation of the ERA are able to be managed by the standard conditions. Eligibility criteria set out the circumstances in which a standard or variation application for an environmental authority can be made.
Standard conditions Standard conditions are the minimum operating requirements an environmental authority holder must comply with.
Standard applications If an applicant can meet all of the eligibility criteria and standard conditions, then they can make a standard application. Applicants are required to complete a 'Standard application form'. The form can be downloaded from the Queensland Government’s Business and Industry Portal at www.business.qld.gov.au/ea Variation applications If an applicant can meet all of the eligibility criteria but needs to vary one or more of the standard conditions to suit their operational needs, then they can make a variation application. Applicants are required to complete a 'Variation application form'. The form can be downloaded from the Queensland Government’s Business and Industry Portal at www.business.qld.gov.au/ea Site specific applications Applicants who cannot meet the eligibility criteria must make a site specific application. Applicants are required to complete a 'Site specific application form'. The form can be downloaded from the Queensland Government’s Business and Industry Portal at www.business.qld.gov.au/ea Amendment applications If the holder of an environmental authority needs to amend a standard condition in the issued environmental authority, then the holder must submit an ‘Amendment application form’. The form can be downloaded from the Queensland Government’s Business and Industry Portal at www.business.qld.gov.au/ea Definitions Some terms used in this document are defined in Appendix 1.
Page 1 of 8 • ESR/2015/1703 • Version 2 • Effective: 30 SEP 2016 ABN 46 640 294 485 Eligibility criteria and standard conditions Screening (more than 100,000 tonnes but not more than 1 million tonnes of material in a year) (ERA 16) Version history Version Date Description of changes 1 6 December 2013 Eligibility criteria and standard conditions take effect
Standard conditions Conditions General G1: All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure the activity complies with the eligibility criteria.
G2: The activity must be undertaken in accordance with written procedures that:
• identify potential risks to the environment from the activity during routine operations and emergencies
• establish control measures that minimise the potential for environmental harm
• ensure plant and equipment is maintained and operated in proper and effective condition
• ensure that staff are trained and aware of their obligations under the Environmental Protection Act 1994
• ensure that reviews of environmental performance are undertaken at least annually.
G3: The activity must not cause environmental nuisance at a nuisance sensitive place.
G4: The activity must not cause the release of dust or particulates that cause environmental nuisance beyond the boundary of the site.
G5: Storage of chemicals and fuels in bulk or in containers of greater than 15 litres must be within a secondary containment system and releases from the containment system controlled in a manner that prevents environmental harm.
Noise N1: The activity must not cause audible noise (a) on a business day or Saturday, before 7.00am or after 7.00pm (b) on any other day, before 8.00am or after 7.00pm
at any of the following places:
• a dwelling, mobile home or caravan park, residential marina, motel, hotel or hostel or other residential premises
• a kindergarten, school, university, library, childcare centre or other educational institution
• a medical centre or hospital.
Land L1: Contaminants from the activity must not be released to land.
L2: Acid sulfate soils, acid-producing rock and marine sediments must not be processed.
Water W1: Stormwater contaminated by the activity must be managed to minimise or prevent any adverse impacts on the values of the receiving environment.
W2: Ponds used for the storage or treatment of aqueous waste must be constructed, installed and maintained to:
• prevent any release of aqueous waste from the ponds
• ensure the stability of the pond structure.
W3: Erosion and sediment control measures must be implemented and maintained to minimise erosion and the release of sediment.
W4: The stormwater runoff from the facility generated by a 24 hour storm event with an average recurrence interval of one in five years must be retained on site and treated to remove contaminants before release.
Waste R1: All waste generated in carrying out the activity must be reused, recycled or lawfully disposed of offsite.
Category A or B as defined in Schedule 12, Part 1 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008.
environmentally sensitive area
Appendix 2: General obligations for environmental authority holders This appendix is not intended to provide a comprehensive assessment of all obligations under Queensland law. It provides some general information and holders are encouraged to familiarise themselves with all requirements related to their specific operation.
Responsibilities under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 Separate to the requirements of the standard conditions, the holder of the environmental authority must also meet their obligations under the Environmental Protection Act 1994, and the regulations made under that Act. For example, the holder must be aware of the following provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 which may apply unless the environmental harm is authorised by the conditions of the environmental authority.
General environmental duty Section 319 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 states that we all have a general environmental duty. This means that we are all responsible for the actions we take that affect the environment. We must not carry out any activity that causes or is likely to cause environmental harm unless we take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise the harm. To decide what meets your general environmental duty, you need to
• the nature of the harm or potential harm
• the sensitivity of the receiving environment
• the current state of technical knowledge for the activity
• the likelihood of successful application of the different measures to prevent or minimise environmental harm that might be taken
• the financial implications of the different measures as they would relate to the type of activity.
It is not an offence not to comply with the general environmental duty. However, maintaining your general
environmental duty is a defence against the following acts:
(a) an act that causes serious or material environmental harm or an environmental nuisance (b) an act that contravenes a noise standard (c) a deposit of a contaminant, or release of stormwater run-off, mentioned in section 440ZG.
More information is available on the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) website www.ehp.qld.gov.au.
Duty to notify Section 320 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 explains the duty to notify. The duty to notify applies to all persons and requires a person or company to give notice where serious or material environmental harm is caused or threatened. Notice must be given of the event, its nature and the circumstances in which the event happened.
Notification can be verbal, written or by public notice depending on who is notifying and being notified.
The duty to notify arises where:
• a person carries out activities or becomes aware of an act of another person arising from or connected to those activities which causes or threatens serious or material environmental harm
• while carrying out activities a person becomes aware of the happening of one or both of the following events:
o the activity negatively affects (or is reasonably likely to negatively affect) the water quality of an aquifer o the activity has caused the unauthorised connection of two or more aquifers.
For more information on the duty to notify requirements refer to the guideline 'Duty to notify of environmental harm' (EM467).
Some relevant offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 Non-compliance with a condition of an environmental authority (section 430) Section 430 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 requires that a person who is the holder of, or is acting under, an environmental authority must not wilfully contravene, or contravene a condition of the authority.
Environmental authority holder responsible for ensuring conditions complied with (section 431) Section 431 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 requires that the holder of an environmental authority must ensure everyone acting under the authority complies with the conditions of the authority. If another person acting under the authority commits an offence against section 430, the holder also commits an offence, namely, the offence of failing to ensure the other person complies with the conditions.
Causing serious or material environmental harm (sections 437–39) Material environmental harm is when the harm is not trivial or negligible in nature. Serious environmental harm is harm that is irreversible, of a high impact or widespread, or that is caused to an area of high conservation value or special significance. Damages, or costs required to rehabilitate the environment, of more than $5000 also constitute serious environmental harm.
Serious or material environmental harm excludes environmental nuisance.
Causing environmental nuisance (section 440) Environmental nuisance is unreasonable interference with an environmental value caused by aerosols, fumes, light, noise, odour, particles or smoke. It may also include an unhealthy, offensive or unsightly condition because of contamination.
Depositing a prescribed water contaminant in waters (section 440ZG) Prescribed contaminants include a wide variety of contaminants listed in Schedule 9 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
It is your responsibility to ensure that prescribed contaminants are not left in a place where they may or do enter a waterway, the ocean or a stormwater drain. This includes making sure that stormwater falling on or running across your site does not leave the site contaminated. Where stormwater contamination occurs you must ensure that it is treated to remove contaminants. You should also consider where and how you store material used in your processes onsite to reduce the chance of water contamination.
Placing a contaminant where environmental harm or nuisance may be caused (section 443) A person must not cause or allow a contaminant to be placed in a position where it could reasonably be expected to cause serious or material environmental harm or environmental nuisance.
Some of the relevant offences under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011
Littering (section 103) Litter is any domestic or commercial waste and any material a person might reasonably believe is refuse, debris or rubbish. Litter can be almost any material that is disposed of incorrectly. Litter includes cigarette butts and drink bottles dropped on the ground, fast food wrappers thrown out of the car window, poorly secured material from a trailer or grass clippings swept into the gutter. However, litter does not include any gas, dust, smoke or material emitted or produced during, or because of, the normal operations of a building, manufacturing, mining or primary industry.
Illegal dumping of waste (section 104) Illegal dumping is the dumping of large volumes of litter (200 litres or more) at a place. Illegal dumping can also include abandoned vehicles.
Relevant offence under the Environment Protection (Waste Management) Regulation Trackable waste to be given only to licensed transporter (section 41) A generator of trackable waste must not give the waste to another person to transport it commercially, or in a load of more than 250 kilograms, in a vehicle unless the other person holds, or is acting under, the required authority for transporting the waste in the vehicle.
Responsibilities under other legislation An environmental authority pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act 1994 does not remove the need to obtain any additional approval for the activity that might be required by other state and/or Commonwealth legislation.
Other legislation for which a permit may be required includes but is not limited to the:
• Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003
• contaminated land provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1994
• Fisheries Act 1994
• Forestry Act 1959
• Nature Conservation Act 1992
• Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 / Petroleum Act 1923
• Queensland Heritage Act 1992
• Sustainable Planning Act 2009
• Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008
• Water Act 2000.
Applicants are advised to check with all relevant statutory authorities and comply with all relevant legislation.