A mechanism is being established in Australia with the aim of promoting waste minimisation and cleaner production. It is based on providing information for policy formulation, community needs and international obligations. The scope will be substances included in the National Pollutant Inventory managed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Its focus is emissions from human activity to the environment in Australia of substances known or reasonably expected to cause serious health problems or severe damage to the environment.
|handle is the sum of the amount of; input material, product, intermediate products generated by-products and waste or emission. It includes transfers and trade waste;|
|nominated substances are substances included in the Inventory; and|
|threshold is the amount as quantified in the Schedule to the Inventory.|
The drafting reporting list and associated thresholds is still under consideration by stakeholders and governments. it is likely that the composition of the list may undergo more iterations before it is finalised for the first year of reporting.
With clear identification of limitations, the appropriate technique will depend on the substance, emission media (air, river, lake etc) and the process. The technique must be sensitive, cost effective, at maximum accuracy, relevant to Australia, capable of validation and with any variations documented. Alternative methods are encouraged if more accurate.
|Substance identification, effects and common uses;|
|Level and location (including facility identification);|
|Other emissions and background levels;|
|Contact details (industry and community groups, and government).|
Confidentiality provisions are planned to be indefinite with four year periodic reviews that will consider whether the provisions are still required. In practice this means inclusion on the Inventory and substance identification will be withheld (though with provision for generic identification). Claims for confidentiality will require the weighing of hazards against the public interest that recognises effects on the environment and health.
Information provided by suppliers of substances as used for development of industry profiles will be kept confidential. Random checks
Still subject to debate, there will be random checks of all actual and potential emitters to measure amounts, techniques and the fulfilment of obligations. Not for prosecution
Information provided to the Inventory will not be used for prosecutions or in a court of law.
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