What's new in law archives: 2002

For recent changes see What's new in law - DEC

For proposed environmental legislation and current regulatory impact statements see
DEC public consultation.

The EPA became part of the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) in September 2003. This archive only relates to the EPA. 

December 2002

  • Review of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. The community was invited to comment on the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and its ability to provide a clear, comprehensive and strong regulatory regime for protecting the environment in NSW. These comments were sought as part of the Minister's five-year review of the Act. Submissions closed 21 February 2003. Comments received formed the basis of a discussion paper released in mid 2003. This discussion paper will also be released for public comment.
  • Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No 2) 2002 (assented to 29.11.02) repeals the Unhealthy Building Land Act 1990 (UBL Act) and Regulation with effect from a day to be proclaimed. The UBL Act prohibits building on unhealthy building land (ie certain land identified as low-lying or flood-prone, or potentially contaminated) and provides for the issuing of certificates as to whether land has been declared to be unhealthy building land. The UBL Act is now rarely used as development is now effectively regulated under other environmental and planning legislation. As part of the transition the EPA has developed an unhealthy building land policy for councils to use. Planning certificates issued under s 149 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 will note whether the policy applies to the relevant land. The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No 2) 2002 also amends the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) to make it clear that a court may make orders under Part 8.3 of the POEO Act against a person found guilty of an offence under the Act regardless of whether a penalty is imposed or other action taken in relation to the offence. Part 8.3 allows the court to make, for eg, compensation, restoration and publication orders against an offender.

November 2002

September 2002

  • Protection of the Environment Operations (Control of Burning) Amendment Regulation 2002 (gazetted and commenced 20.9.02) includes Maitland and Uralla local government areas in the list of areas where the burning of vegetation in the open or in an incinerator is prohibited (subject to certain exceptions).
  • Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2002 (gazetted 30.8.02; commences 1.9.02) replaces the Clean Air (Domestic Solid Fuel Heaters) Regulation 1997 and the Clean Air (Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Fuels) Regulation 1997. The Regulation streamlines the certification process for the sale of domestic solid fuel heaters, which must be certified as complying with the emission limits in Australian Standard AS/NZS 4013:1999. Tampering with such heaters is prohibited. State-based certificates of compliance will no longer be issued by the EPA. The Regulation also controls the emission of air pollution by motor vehicles. It retains and strengthens the provisions relating to vehicles emitting excessive smoke (including increasing the on-the-spot fine from $112 to $200 for individuals and $400 for corporations), and the provisions relating to tampering with and maintaining vehicle anti-pollution devices. It retains the requirement for diesel vehicles over 4.5 tonnes to be fitted with vertical exhausts but allows for exemptions for vehicles that comply with the emission standards of Australian Design Rule 80/01. It removes requirements relating to the sale of leaded and unleaded petrol as the Commonwealth now prohibits the sale of leaded petrol. 
  • Protection of the Environment Administration Regulation 2002 (gazetted 23.8.02; commences 1.9.02) replaces the Protection of the Environment Administration (Disclosure by Board Members) Regulation 1997 which is repealed under the staged repeal provisions of the Subordinate Legislation Act 1989 on 1 September 2002. There are no significant differences between the two Regulations. The new Regulation sets out matters that must be disclosed by EPA Board members, when and how those disclosures are to be made, and requires a register of disclosures to be kept.
  • Tradeable Emission Schemes Fund amendments commence 1 September 2002. The Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Tradeable Emission Schemes Fund) Act 2002 (assented to 10.7.02) allows the proceeds of an auction or sale of credits as part of a tradeable emission scheme to be paid into the Tradeable Emission Schemes Fund established under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. It also allows payment into the Consolidated Fund of money in excess of the costs of management and administration of tradeable emission schemes.

August 2002

  • Radiation Control Amendment Act 2002 (assented to 4.7.02; commences 1.8.02) amends the Radiation Control Act 1990 to give effect to recommendations of the National Competition Policy review of Australian jurisdictions' radiation control legislation, intended to achieve national uniformity. The Act will enable documents forming part of the National Directory for Radiation Protection to be adopted and given statutory effect in NSW. The Act also makes changes to the composition and role of the Radiation Advisory Council. Membership of the Council will be increased from 14 to 16 to include an officer of the WorkCover Authority and a person with expertise in naturally occurring radioactivity. The Act clarifies the respective roles of the EPA and the Council in determining applications for licences, registrations and accreditations under the Radiation Control Act, so that the role of the Council is more advisory in nature.

July 2002

  • New pesticide recordkeeping requirements commence 31 July 2002. The Pesticides Amendment (Records) Regulation 2001 (gazetted 14.12.01) requires users of pesticides for commercial and occupational purposes, or in connection with agricultural, farming or forestry operations, to make and keep records of pesticide use. There are a number of exceptions to these requirements, including pesticide use for domestic purposes in certain circumstances, and in swimming pools. It is an offence to contravene the requirements for keeping and providing the records. The Regulation also requires holders of aircraft (pesticide applicator) licences to record additional particulars in relation to aerial applications of pesticides.
  • Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Tradeable Emission Schemes Fund) Act 2002 (assented to 10.7.02; commences 1.9.02) allows the proceeds of an auction or sale of credits as part of a tradeable emission scheme to be paid into the Tradeable Emission Schemes Fund established under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. It also allows payment into the Consolidated Fund of money in excess of the costs of management and administration of tradeable emission schemes.
  • Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002 (assented to and relevant changes commence 4 July 2002) makes a number of minor changes to EPA-administered legislation. The changes: (1) modify a defence to the offence under the Pesticides Act 1999 of using a registered pesticide in contravention of the approved label; (2) allow local councils to appoint employees of other local councils as authorised officers for the purposes of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997; (3) allow certificate evidence to be given of premises that were or were not the subject of a licence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997; (4) enable the Environmental Trust to vary grant conditions under the Environmental Trust Act 1998; (5) repeal the Environmental Trust Regulation 1999 as it was no longer of any practical effect.

June 2002

  • Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Amendment (Noisy Vehicle Sound Systems) Regulation 2002 and Protection of the Environment Operations (Penalty Notices) Amendment (Noisy Vehicle Sound Systems) Regulation 2002 (gazetted 28.6.02; commence 1.7.02) make it an offence for the driver of a motor vehicle to drive or use the vehicle on a road or road-related area if the vehicle's sound system emits offensive noise. An on-the-spot fine may be issued to the driver, and the offence will attract licence demerit points under the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1998.
  • Three Bills were introduced into Parliament in June which propose making changes to EPA-administered legislation: Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Tradeable Emission Schemes Fund) Bill 2002 (introduced 4.6.02), Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2002 (introduced 11.6.02) and Radiation Control Amendment Bill 2002 (introduced 12.6.02). Click on the links to view explanatory notes for the Bills on the NSW Parliament website.
  • Protection of the Environment Operations (Penalty Notices) Amendment (Waste Offences) Regulation 2002 (gazetted 21.6.02; commences 1.7.02) increases the existing on-the-spot fines for the offence of permitting land to be unlawfully used as a waste facility, and introduces additional on-the-spot fines for the offence of transporting waste to an unlawful waste facility if the waste comprises asbestos waste, hazardous waste or other waste greater than 1 cubic metre or 2 tonnes. The Regulation also enables Sydney Catchment Authority officers to issue on-the-spot fines for offences relating to the release of balloons.
  • Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment (Contributions) Regulation 2002 (gazetted 14.6.02; commences 1.7.02) increases the contributions payable by occupiers of scheduled waste facilities in respect of waste received at the facility from 1 July 2002, subject to a maximum of $25 (as indexed) per tonne of waste.
  • Environment Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2002 (assented to 15.5.02; commences 1.7.02, except for amendments regarding contaminated site auditors which commence on 28.6.02) makes miscellaneous amendments to a number of Acts and Regulations administered by the EPA. Some of the areas affected by the amendments to the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 include: mistaken exercise of powers of the appropriate regulatory authority by another authority; issuing of penalty notices; prosecution of offences by authorities that are not the appropriate regulatory authority; continuing operation of notices; false representations about EPA endorsement of goods or services; regulation-making powers; maximum penalty notice amounts; and investigation powers. Other amendments affect: the accreditation period of site auditors under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997; the emission of excessive air impurities by motor vehicles under the Clean Air (Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Fuels) Regulation 1997; investigation powers under the Radiation Control Act 1990 and the Road and Rail Transport (Dangerous Goods) Act 1997; liability of owners and drivers of motor vehicles for noise emissions under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2000.

May 2002

March 2002

  • Environment Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2002 (introduced into NSW Parliament on 13.3.02; assented to 15.5.02). The Environment Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2001 lapsed when the NSW Parliament was prorogued but was reintroduced in the same form on 13 March 2002 as the Environment Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2002. See 'November 2001' for more details on the Bill.
Page last updated: 20 November 2015