What is it?
The Reduced Reporting Burden Pilot project is a Streamline WA initiative that stopped or halved environmental reporting requirements for lower-risk industry licences.
The changes affected more than 60 per cent of eligible licences granted under Part V Division 3 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 relating to industrial premises that can cause emissions and discharges to air, land or water.
Before this change, annual environmental monitoring and reporting were required for these licences, regardless of the operation’s risk to the environment or public health, or whether the information is likely to change from year to year.
Under the pilot program, a risk-based assessment was conducted to identify licences eligible for reduced reporting requirements. These include:
- licences with no monitoring requirements – will no longer require annual environmental reports
- licences with only limited monitoring requirements – will move to environmental reports every two years.
Other licences, such as those that require comprehensive monitoring and have several environmental issues, multiple monitoring points, complex monitoring suites and/or high- frequency monitoring, continue to require annual environmental reporting.
The Reduced Reporting Burden project:
- allows for less-frequent reporting, while continuing to meet the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s requirements, reducing the workload for both licence holders and regulators regarding routine or lower-risk matters
- applies a risk-based approach when setting reporting conditions
- encourages licence holders to achieve good environmental performance
- provides regulators with more time to focus on higher-risk matters.
When did it come into effect?
An amendment was issued for the relevant licences on Monday, 16 May 2022.
It is important to note that the amendment notice affects environmental reporting requirements on existing licences from the commencement date of the amendment.
The principles outlined in the project have been applied to assessments of applications for new licences and amendments for the past 18 months. In that time, more than 80 licences have already benefited from a reduction in unnecessary reporting requirements.
In the future, the project will be broadened to encompass the reporting obligations on other licences to reduce duplicative reporting processes across numerous regulatory agencies. In addition, the initiative will work towards increasing transparency by publishing more information online.