Vic EPA shifts to digital waste tracking
The Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has pledged $5.5 million for a new system to electronically track industrial waste. The production, movement and receipt of chemical waste will be digitally recorded using GPS, enabling the EPA to track waste more quickly and accurately than the current paper certificate system.
Sparked by a Victorian state government crackdown on the illegal storage of hazardous material, the move will see the EPA phase out paper certificates by 1 July 2019, ensuring all certificates are recorded electronically.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said, “We’re implementing these new measures to crack down on the illegal storage of hazardous waste and increase safety for the community.
“Moving to a fully electronic GPS tracking system will mean we know when and where these chemicals are being moved and stored — so we can identify potentially illegal activity and catch these criminals in the act,” she continued.
The EPA currently uses a combination of electronic and paper waste transport certificates — with up to 100,000 paper certificates received each year.
EPA CEO Dr Cathy Wilkinson explained, “The introduction of a fully electronic waste transport certificate system will enable EPA to better track the movement of waste by providing improved quality data, helping us to detect potential risks and intervene earlier.”
An integrated waste tracking tool, with improved data analytics and reporting, will also be developed over the next 12 months to deliver insights on sector activity and trends, as well as highlight potential illegal activity. This best-practice tracking system is due to be finalised by March 2020 to allow the industry a three-month transition period before the new Environment Protection Act legislation comes into effect on 1 July 2020. The new legislation will introduce modern surveillance devices, tougher penalties and a greater focus on industry responsibility and proactively managing risks to human health and the environment.
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