CPRS Liability: landfill - to close or not to close?

08 Jan 2008Archived News Energetics in the News

Companies that have an on-site landfill may find themselves with an unexpected CPRS liability from 2018.


1 July 2008 is a significant date for any company with a landfill site. All landfill sites in operation from1 July 2008 onwards will have CPRS liability for waste emissions associated from waste deposited after 1 July 2008 (subject to facility thresholds being met). While this date will not impact on companies with active landfills, companies with landfills that are disused, have sporadic deposits or have unmonitored depositing, may be risking unexpected and avoidable permit liability.

What is the significance of 1 July 2008?

Only landfill sites that are closed on 1 July 2008 and remain closed from this date will be completely exempt from the CPRS liability. Clients should be aware that if any landfill is dumped after this date, in any future year, liability will be triggered for emissions from the waste dumped. This excludes legacy emissions until 2018.

Even a single deposit could add significant and ongoing permit costs to clients that trigger facility thresholds.

This is a particular risk for any site that has a landfill that is not formally used, is used sporadically or is at risk of third party depositing. From 1 July 2008, sporadic use could result in considerable permit costs. In many cases, it may be more cost effective to close the landfill and dispose of waste at an alternative facility.

Energetics advises all clients with sites that may be at risk to seek further advice to determine CPRS impacts and the most cost-effective and commercial management of their permit liability. Our experienced CPRS and NGER team can assist in determining your emissions profile and carbon strategy.

Landfill Emissions – Based on draft CPRS legislation

  • What emissions from waste attract permit liability?

Legacy emissions, being emissions from waste deposited prior to 1 July 2008, are exempt from permit liability until 2018, by which time these emissions will have decreased substantially. This means permits only have to be purchased to acquit emissions from waste deposited after 1 July 2018.

In order to determine this liability, companies need to calculate emissions in accordance with the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination. A portion of this will then be attributed to ‘legacy emissions’ which will not attract liability. The portion of total emissions that will be attributed to legacy emissions will determined by the regulations which have not yet been released.

Clients should be aware that although ‘legacy emissions’ are exempt from permit liability, these emissions must be accounted for when determining a facility’s emissions profile and applying the facility threshold.

What is the facility threshold?

CPRS facility threshold is generally 25,000 tonnes of CO2-e however a lower threshold of 10,000 tonnes of CO2-e applies to landfill facilities in close proximity.

How are waste emissions calculated?

Waste emissions must be calculated in accordance with the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination. These calculations require considerable measurement of waste variables including percentage of waste streams and waste composition and are more onerous than National Greenhouse Account calculations.

Disclaimer: The above is not legal advice from Energetics, but advice based on draft legislation which is subject to change.

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