The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it’s up to companies to ensure the health and safety of their wastewater collection and disposal sites.
Key points:The EPA says wastewater collected and disposed of in a sewage discharge pond or landfill is not considered hazardous wasteUnder the EPA’s new rule, sewage collected and discharged from a landfill must be considered hazardous and must be cleaned up, as per a wastewater management plan (WMP)The rule, which was released on Monday, will apply to sewage discharged from landfill sites or sewage disposal ponds, but not from a sewage treatment plant.
The EPA said in a statement the new regulation would “help to ensure that wastewater discharged from sites such as sewage ponds and landfill sites is treated in the same way as wastewater collected from a treatment plant”.
“These types of sites are a major source of waste that needs to be properly cleaned up and disposed,” the EPA said.
“As a result, they have the highest level of hazardous waste pollution and risk to public health.”
The agency’s proposed rule will come into effect on January 1.
The new regulation covers more than 10,000 wastewater treatment plants across Australia, and will affect sites ranging from large wastewater treatment facilities to smaller facilities, including residential homes.
The EPA will now require businesses that collect, process and dispose of wastewater from these facilities to adopt a WMP, as well as ensure the wastewater is cleaned up.
The rule will also apply to companies that dispose of the wastewater in a disposal pond, and it will apply for companies that have a wastewater treatment plant and sewage treatment facility.
However, the EPA has clarified that this new regulation does not apply to wastewater collected or discharged from landfills.
The agency said businesses and residents will need to comply with the new regulations.
“While the rules will help to ensure wastewater collected in a landfilling site or discharge pond is treated the same as wastewater discharged into a treatment facility, they will not apply where wastewater collected by a landfill site or a sewage disposal pond is disposed,” EPA spokesperson Alison Brown said.
“The rules do not apply for waste collected from land disposal ponds or landfiller sites.
An EPA spokesperson said the rule would apply to sites where “a landfill site, waste disposal pond or sewage treatment station has the capacity to discharge treated wastewater into a nearby landfill”.
The new EPA rule also applies to waste that is “conferred, delivered, transported, or stored”.
The rule says the EPA will issue guidance on the use of “proprietary codes and procedures” in the rules to help businesses comply with new requirements.
Topics:water-management,pollution,government-and-politics,government—politics,law-crime-and-(prosecution)—isons,australiaFirst posted May 07, 2020 13:24:49Contact Louise HalseyMore stories from Australia