|Review of the Environmental Protection (Goldfields Residential Areas)(Sulfur Dioxide) Policy 2003|
In accordance with section 36(1)(b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, the Minister for Environment has directed the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) not to review the Environmental Protection (Goldfields Residential Areas)(Sulfur Dioxide) Policy 2003 at this time. This direction is in effect until further notice.
On 18 March 2003 the EPP and associated Regulations for the Goldfields Residential Areas were gazetted, thereby replacing the 1992 EPP and Regulations. A minor amendment to correct the map coordinates of the EPP was gazetted on 10 June 2003.
There has been a progressive tightening in the measure of acceptability of air quality standards since 1988. This has continued in the 2003 EPP, providing a progressive reduction in the number of calendar days the sulfur dioxide concentration of 0.2 ppm could be exceeded, from 3 in 2003 and down to 1 in 2008 and each succeeding year.
These concentrations will be managed and controlled through licences issued to sulfur dioxide emitting industries under Part V of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. Industries must monitor these concentrations and must not exceed the maximum permitted sulfur dioxide concentration. The 2003 Regulations specifies conditions that must be placed within a licence. Full compliance with the NEPM was achieved in 2008 and will continue into the future.
In 2009, the EPA released a scoping document “Discussion Paper – Review of the Environmental Protection (Goldfields Residential Areas)(Sulfur Dioxide) Policy 2003”. This document sought to determine the issues that should be addressed if the review was undertaken. The Discussion Paper unveiled a number of issues identified through community consultation. The EPA reviewed the comments received and recommended to the Minister for Environment that further investigations on the air quality in the Goldfields regions are required to be undertaken prior to any amendments to the EPP. Based on this information the EPA recommended that the EPP remain in effect until there is evidence that the EPP needs to be amended. The Minister for Environment agreed and directed the EPA not to review the EPP and that a notice to this effect be published in the Government Gazette on 1 June 2010.
As a result of this action, the 2003 Goldfields EPP shall remain in force until otherwise directed by the Minister.
The Environmental Protection (Goldfields Residential Areas) (Sulfur Dioxide) Regulations 2003 was released on 18 March 2003.