Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Land pollution defence for unlicensed landfills

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 introduces a defence to land pollution at unlicensed landfills.

The defence would be available if the landfill operator, at the time of the alleged land pollution, maintained certain minimum operational standards at the facility.

What problem led to the change?

Recent compliance campaigns conducted by the EPA have shown that operational practices at unlicensed landfills vary greatly across NSW. This has the potential to pose a significant risk to the environment and human health. Creating a defence to potential prosecution, under section 142 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act), sets minimum standards for unlicensed landfills across NSW.

How will these changes affect unlicensed landfill operators?

The changes will assist the EPA and unlicensed landfill operators lift the standards of unlicensed landfills in NSW.

This is not a mandatory practice. However, it provides a defence for operators against potential prosecution under section 142 of the POEO Act if they have maintained minimum operational standards as specified. This includes measures to reduce risk of fire and odour/noise/dust emissions, control public access to the premises, and general maintenance of the facility.


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Page last updated: 14 January 2015