Why it matters
Public consultation on the draft Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Thermal Energy from Waste) Regulation was completed in March 2022. The submissions were reviewed and considered.
The Government has now finalised the Regulation. The Regulation became law on 8 July 2022. The amendments now form part of the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2021.
Further information is available on the EPA website.
Public Consultation on the draft amendment Regulation
We sought feedback on the Draft Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Thermal Energy from Waste) Regulation 2021 (Draft Regulation).
The Draft Regulation proposed changes to energy from waste in NSW to:
- improve certainty to communities and industry around acceptable locations and facilities
- apply the precautionary principle where there is a greater risk of harm to human health due to proximity to high population areas (now and into the future), and in areas where there are regular exceedances to air quality standards from existing sources
- maximise efficiencies in infrastructure, waste management, innovation and energy recovery
- ensure that energy from waste plays a sustainable role as NSW transitions towards a circular waste and resource recovery framework.
As outlined in the Energy from Waste Infrastructure Plan, the Draft Regulation, subject to limited exceptions, restricts new energy from waste operations and infrastructure to four designated precincts:
- West Lithgow Precinct
- Parkes Special Activation Precinct
- Richmond Valley Regional Jobs Precinct
- Southern Goulburn Mulwaree Precinct.
Outside these areas, energy from waste will only be permitted if the facilities use waste, or waste-derived feedstock to replace less environmentally sound fuels to generate energy at the site, and where that energy is used to power industrial and manufacturing processes on-site.
The Draft Regulation also defines thermal treatment of waste for energy recovery and lists activities that are excluded from that definition.
The exclusions aim to support the transition to a circular economy by ensuring that necessary waste processing and recycling activities involving thermal treatment can continue to lawfully operate throughout NSW after the Draft Regulation becomes law.
All energy from waste proposals are still required to comply with environmental and planning laws, including the Energy from Waste Policy Statement (PDF 400KB)).
Informing energy from waste regulation
Thank you for providing feedback on the regulation.
Please note, your feedback on Draft Thermal Energy from Waste Regulation 2021 may include ‘personal information,' including your name, address, email, internet protocol address and any other personal information contained in your feedback.
The EPA may publish all or part of your feedback on its website, on its online consultation platform or in a consultation report. In providing us with your feedback, you consent to the EPA publishing all or part of your submission. If you would like all or part of your feedback to be withheld from publication, please let us know when making your feedback.
If you send us an email, we will record your email for the purpose of responding to you.
All information held by the EPA is subject to the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.