The EPA’s regulation of waste under the Environment Protection Act 1993 (EP Act) will be the subject of major reform following Parliament’s assent to the Environment Protection (Waste Reform) Amendment Act 2017 (SA) (Waste Reform Act) on 14 November 2017.

The Waste Reform Act significantly expands the EPA’s ability to regulate waste within South Australia by granting to the EPA additional powers where the EPA suspects that waste is, or will be, dealt with illegally.

Under the amended EP Act, the EPA:

  • Can apply to the Supreme Court for a warrant to track waste in a vehicle if the EPA suspects that waste is being dealt with illegally;
  • Grants expanded powers of authorised offices to enter certain premises and mark materials that are likely to be illegally dumped;
  • Can apply to the Supreme Court for a warrant to install surveillance cameras on a premises that the EPA suspects is dealing with waste illegally;
  • Can issue an environment protection order to the holder of an EPA licence in relation to waste that has been stockpiled and abandoned under the EPA licence even after the licensed activity has ceased;
  • Can better regulate material flow and stockpiling through amendments to the objects of the EP Act and to impose stockpiling limits on EPA licences which can be amended at any time and as the EPA considers necessary;
  • Can require the holder of an environmental authorisation to provide financial assurance to protect against environmental, abandonment and distortion risks and if it considers there is a risk the stockpiling limit will be exceeded; and
  • Has more methods to deal with breaches of licence conditions, including the power to issue an expiation notice of $1,000 for a breach of licence condition and default penalties for breach of reporting deadline licence conditions.

The amendments have not yet come into operation. The date for commencement will be fixed by proclamation.