Skip links and keyboard navigation

Review of the Regulated Waste Classification and Waste-related Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) frameworks

One of the department’s core functions is to ensure commercial and industrial activities, including waste management activities, are regulated to manage their environmental impacts. Regulating waste management activities is particularly complex due to the diverse nature of the wastes generated, the processes associated with the waste related activity and the large range of hazard parameters associated with these wastes.

In Queensland the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) and its subordinate legislation, the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (EP Reg) provide the approaches for classifying waste and regulating associated waste management activities. These are commonly referred to as the regulated waste classification and waste-related Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) frameworks. Combined, these frameworks provide the ability to identify and appropriately manage the activities and associated risks.

Since the introduction of the frameworks almost 20 years ago there have been significant changes in waste management practices and the introduction of new waste management and recycling technologies. As a result of these changes the current frameworks no longer reflect or properly account for changing national and international waste management standards and practices.

On 30 June 2017 the department released a consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (consultation RIS) that provided two policy options. Option 1 proposed to maintain the current regulatory framework and option 2 (the preferred option) proposed to introduce new risk-based waste classification and waste-related ERA frameworks.

The consultation RIS remained open for comment for 8 weeks and a total of 36 submissions were received from individual companies, local governments, utility providers as well as industry bodies representing the waste industry and the agricultural and resource sectors.

All of the submissions supported the preferred policy option 2, however concerns were raised about some elements of the proposal. In response to the concerns raised the department has undertaken further review and made several changes to the proposed regulated waste and waste-related ERA frameworks.

A detailed summary of the consultation submission comments, the government response and the subsequent changes that have been made to the regulatory frameworks is provided in the following Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (PDF, 2.9M).

Last updated
7 September 2018