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EPA Tightens Licence

EPA Tightens Licence

Tighter EPA licence for Warrnambool sewage

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has cracked down on Wannon Water’s Warrnambool Sewage Treatment Works following incidents where plastic litter and pieces of fat were found along Shelly Beach.

EPA Regional Manager for the South West, Carolyn Francis, says the regulator has imposed additional licence conditions.

“The plant works under an EPA licence which sets limits that are designed to protect the environment and ensure the plant’s operations live up to the community’s expectations,”

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“And while Wannon Water has taken practical steps to improve the plant’s environmental performance, the changes EPA has made to the licence have tightened the requirements and set clearer limits to what is permissible,”

The amended licence includes a new condition that the discharge of wastewater must not contain visible floating foam, oils, grease or litter.

While the licence already applied annual median limits for wastewater quality indicators, (including ammonia, biochemical oxygen demand, suspended solids, total nitrogen and total phosphorus), the amendments have now introduced maximum limits as well.

Ms Francis says those maximum limits mean that a long run of good days will not balance out very bad ones in short bursts

Under the Environment Protection Act 1970, Wannon Water may appeal to Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) against any new or amended conditions within 21 days.

The EPA Regional Manager for the South West says that the company is taking a number of positive steps.

“Wannon Water is introducing a number of additional measures and upgrades to ensure that litter and fats cannot be discharged from the plant and EPA is maintaining an overview of these works,”

“The tighter controls now built into the licence more clearly define how much is too much, and better match the community’s expectations.”

The amended licence for the Warrnambool Sewage Treatment Works is available on the EPA Portal https://portal.epa.vic.gov.au/irj/portal

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