The NSW EPA is currently considering the feedback it has received on how it proposes to require and estimate financial assurances under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 and the Radiation Control Act 1990. The NSW EPA will determine its final policy and guideline after it has considered this feedback.

The EPA has developed a draft financial assurance policy and guideline to ensure that those responsible for pollution or contamination pay the costs of clean-up or remediation. Without appropriate financial security, for some facilities and industries, the liabilities associated with cleaning up pollution and remediation may become the responsibility of the NSW Government and community if the polluter is unable or unwilling to pay. Environmental liabilities may arise from pollution or contamination from a person or company's operations or its historical activities.

The EPA has powers under its existing legislation to require a financial assurance to guarantee funding for potential environmental liabilities so that this burden does not fall back on the NSW community. The EPA can require an independent cost assessment to provide confidence that the costs are a reasonable estimate for cleaning up or remediating a site should the EPA have to step in and manage these processes.

The EPA has developed a draft policy and guideline to provide greater certainty and transparency in this area and sought views and feedback on these draft documents during a consultation that closed on 1 May 2020:

  1. Draft Financial Assurance Policy
  2. Draft Guideline on Estimating Financial Assurances

Draft Financial Assurance Policy

This draft policy outlines when and how the EPA may require a financial assurance under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 and the Radiation Control Act 1990. The draft policy includes a risk categorisation tool that the EPA will use to decide whether a financial assurance is justified due to the level of risk of environmental harm, the remediation or other work that may be required, or the environmental record of the regulated person or company.

Draft Guideline on Estimating Financial Assurances

This draft guideline provides a transparent and consistent method for companies, consultants and others estimating the amounts of the financial assurances. It will also help regulated companies and individuals to obtain an independent assessment of the costs of clean-up and remediation actions from auditors when the EPA has decided that a financial assurance is needed.

Information sessions

The EPA hosted four information sessions on the draft policy and guideline on 17 and 19 March.

You can see the presentation slides shared at all of the information sessions which contain information about the proposals in the document library on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact us on:

Name NSW Environment Protection Authority
Phone 131 555

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