Byron’s low risk wastewater management brings lower fees

Ratepayers will benefit from Byron Shire Council’s sound management of its sewerage treatment plants as the latest review by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has resulted in the lowest risk and highest performing category.

Council’s overall environmental risk is assessed annually by the EPA through its day-to-day operations at the sewerage treatment plants and its management of air, odour, water and noise emissions.

The pollutant incident risk and environmental management performance at the sites were found to be at a low level of risk to human health and the environment. As such, the risk level for Council’s Environment Protection Licences is Category A (Level 1).

The risk level is used to calculate the licence administrative fee. Licensees who perform well and minimise environmental risk are rewarded with a reduction of their administrative fees.

Council’s Manager Utilities, Cameron Clark said the low risk category was a great result, particularly taking into account challenges in the Shire such as the significant variations in the population in peak tourist times.

“The risk management protocols and monitoring systems we have in place at our sewerage treatment plants means Byron Shire Council can ensure the nutrient loading of pollutants is way below the licence limit required by the EPA,” Mr Clark said.

“This not only brings savings for ratepayers with reduced administrative fees, but also shows we are continuing to operate at best practice standards in relation to the environment.”

Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO), Byron Shire Council requires Environmental Protection Licences to conduct any activity listed in Schedule 1 of the POEO Act, including operating and discharging waste from sewerage treatment plants.

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