Chemical waste will be electronically monitored from July this year, under an Andrews Labor government crackdown on the illegal storage of hazardous material.
Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, announced the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will invest $5.5 million to switch to a fully GPS electronic tracking system to better record the production, movement and receipt of industrial waste.
“We’re implementing these new measures to crackdown on the illegal storage of hazardous waste and increase safety for the community,” D’Ambrosio said.
“Moving to a fully electronic GPS tracking system will mean we know when and where these chemicals are being moved and stored – so we can identify potentially illegal activity and catch these criminals in the act.”
The EPA currently uses a mix of electronic and paper waste transport certificates – with up to 100,000 paper certificates received each year.
The new system will enable EPA to monitor the movement of waste more quickly and more accurately, compared to the paper certificates, which can be time consuming and difficult to process.
This move will see the EPA phase-out the paper certificates by July 1, 2019, ensuring all certificates are recorded electronically.
“The introduction of a fully electronic waste transport certificate system will enable EPA to better track the movement of waste by providing improved quality data, helping us to detect potential risks and intervene earlier,” said Cathy Wilkinson, EPA CEO.
A new integrated waste tracking tool, with improved data analytics and reporting, will also be developed over the next 12 months, to deliver insights on sector activity, trends and highlight potential illegal activity.
This best practice tracking system will be finalised by March 2020, so that industry has three months to transition before the new Environment Protection Act legislation comes into effect on July 1, 2020.
This new legislation will introduce modern surveillance devices, tougher penalties and a greater focus on industry responsibility and proactively managing risks to human health and environment.