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EPA Victoria seeks feedback on new separation guidelines

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is seeking community feedback on two draft updated guidelines that provide advice on recommended industry separation distances and landfill buffers.

The proposed guidelines will support planning authorities, responsible authorities, industry, developers, the community and EPA.

The draft guideline includes an updated list of industries and separation distances. Once finalised, the guideline will replace Recommended separation distances for industrial residual air emissions (EPA publication 1518).

The Separation Distance Guideline proposes a recommended separation distance of 500 metres for quarrying, crushing, screening, stockpiling and conveying of rock, with or without blasting. This includes quarrying activities with respirable crystalline silica.

The current distance recommended by the EPA publication 1518 is 250 metres for quarrying without blasting. This distance will be doubled once the new guideline is effective.

The guideline further notes that the recommended separation can be reduced to 250 metres if activity takes place more than 10 metres below ground.

The Landfill Buffer Guideline provides guidance on what to consider when preparing and assessing:

  • planning scheme amendments and planning permit applications for landfills, or that would lead to development within the buffer of an operating or closed landfill
  • EPA permissions applications for landfills, including for development and operating licences and permits.

Once finalised, it is intended that the guidelines will be referenced in the Victoria Planning Provisions. This means planning decision makers will be required to consider the guidelines as relevant.

Planning decision makers and EPA will consider the proposed guidelines where relevant when assessing applications to establish or expand industry and landfill operations.

The public consultation is open till 17 February 2023. After receiving submissions, EPA will consider all feedback and publish a consultation report. EPA will finalise the draft guidelines in mid-2023.

The proposed guidelines are not intended to be used retrospectively to revisit decisions already made by planning decision makers and EPA.

For more information or to get involved in the survey, visit here.

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