Coal washery rejects levy
Under section 88 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act), occupiers of certain facilities are required to pay a contribution in respect of each tonne of waste received at the facility. The Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2005 specifies different contributions based on waste type and location of generation or disposal.
From 1 November 2009, the coal washery rejects levy applies to each tonne of coal washery rejects that is received from off-site and applied to land. Coal washery rejects are the waste resulting from washing coal, including substances such as coal fines, soil, sand, and rock resulting from that process. The coal washery rejects levy is applied at a concessional rate of $15.00 per tonne and is adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). For 2011-13 the coal washery reject levy rate is $16.20 per tonne.
Emplacement of coal washery rejects can involve the clearing of native vegetation and the use of virgin land for the disposal of the coal washery rejects. The purpose of the coal washery rejects levy is to stimulate improved environmental management of coal waste by making disposal more expensive (i.e. to provide an economic incentive for mine operators to develop alternatives to disposal).
The Coal Washery Rejects Levy Operational Guidance Note provides details about the operation of the levy.
Exemptions from the coal washery rejects levy
Exemptions from the levy may be available in certain circumstances with approval from the EPA. Two general exemptions have been approved by the EPA for reuse of coal washery rejects in off-mine fill applications and when coal washery rejects are used to rehabilitate a coal mine void only.
The Guidelines on Resource Recovery Exemptions provide an assessment framework and application structure for any person applying to the EPA for a resource recovery exemption. Proponents are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposal with the EPA prior to commencing work on an application.
For any queries or to discuss your proposal, please contact the EPA's Environment Line on 131 555.
Page last updated: 12 July 2012