Changes ahead for reporting to the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI)

Terms of reference have been released for an independent review of the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI).  The scope of the review includes assessing whether the NPI achieves the desired environmental outcomes and whether those outcomes are still appropriate, as the NPI was created in response to 1998 legislation. The review will also look at what improvements could be made to how useful the NPI is (to Australian stakeholders and for meeting international reporting requirements and commitments), the accuracy of the information reported, how well the NPI interacts with other government programs, and an examination of alternative delivery models.

Read our article outlining the majoring changes proposed.

The scope also includes a review of the legislation (National Environment Protection (National Pollutant Inventory) Measure 1998), as well as looking into how the NPI is resourced and funded, noting that funding to the NPI was reduced a number of years ago.

One of the recommendations that will be considered in the upcoming review arose from a 2014 internal review, which was to exclude facilities under 14 ANZIC codes from the need to report. These are:

• 0143 Beef Cattle Feedlots (Specialised)
• 3321 Petroleum Product Wholesaling
• 0192 Pig Farming
• 0171 Poultry Farming (Meat)
• 8401 Hospitals (Except Psychiatric Hospitals)
• 0172 Poultry Farming (Eggs)
• 1214 Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverage Manufacturing
• 2811 Water Supply
• 2700 Gas Supply
• 1212 Beer Manufacturing
• 1213 Spirit Manufacturing
• 6910 Scientific Research Services
• 1220 Cigarette and Tobacco Product Manufacturing
• 2612 Hydro-Electricity Generation

What does that mean for me?

If your facility falls under one of the 14 ANZIC codes you may not have to submit an annual NPI report. If your facility is one that falls under the remaining ANZIC codes (approximately 140 codes) that are currently included and not listed for potential exclusion, there are a couple of things you might want to consider:
1. Is there a case for excluding your industry from NPI reporting? If you believe so, what information and evidence can you collate to make a case to the review? Can you work with an industry association?
2. What suggestions do you have for the NPI that would reduce the reporting burden while still maintaining (or improving) the accuracy of information reported?

At this stage, no consultation process has been arranged.  However we recommend that you register for the Department of the Environment mailing list to get updates on the review: npi@environment.gov.au.

Energetics will stay on top of further developments and will make a submission if and when the review calls for them. If you wish to discuss any aspect of the announced review, please contact one of our experts featured below.

 


 

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