“The growth in the waste to energy sector is causing a corresponding increase in the regulatory framework and the subsequent need for legal specialists,” lawyer Kim Glassborow of G&B Lawyers told the National Energy from Waste conference hosted by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association held in Canberra recently.
Kim, a lawyer specializing in environmental law, advised tyre recycler Green Distillation Technologies for its license application and negotiations with the NSW Environment Protection Authority which resulted in the granting of the first Energy Recovery license under the current EPA law and regulations.
Her subject at the conference was ‘Firing up a waste to energy project in NSW – the legal framework’ and covered the significant organisational and legal points that should be followed in planning such a project.
At the outset, Kim emphasised the vital steps including good initial preparation in the application based on a through knowledge of the relevant regulations, particularly if the matter is likely to be appealed to the Land & Environment Court for a final determination.
“However, one of the most significant aspects for a potential proponent to get right from the beginning of a large scale planning project in NSW, is to really get their community consultation going and get the social licence and the right to be accepted within a local community and that step alone can be very challenging”.
“Community consultation is actually mandated by the NSW legislation and the planning approvals process to ensure that there is sufficient knowledge available for a community that may be impacted, so that they fully understand what the proposal is all about.
“This means that they are informed what the proposal is and how any impacts will be managed. Community consultation may be achieved via public websites, community forums, media releases, newsletters, as well as having a community liaison officer available who can answer questions from the public etc.
“No one wants to be living next to a large scale major piece of infrastructure or large facility such as an energy from waste plant, but the reality is that if a proponent hires the right consultants from the start to engage with the community early and they are skilled enough, a lot of the fear may be removed or at least minimised which will go a great deal towards achieving community acceptance and, hopefully, an eventual approval”, Kim Glassborow said.
Craig Dunn, the Chief Executive Officer of Green Distillation Technologies, said that Kim had proved to be the game changer for his company in securing their Waste to Energy license.
“We have had, and continue to have a very good relationship with the NSW EPA. The application and negotiation took four years and the work that Kim undertook created a catalyst for renewed negotiations that achieved a successful outcome.
“Prior to that a similar licence application was made to the Queensland EPA which was also successful, and the precedent was certainly helpful,” he said.
Craig Dunn described his company as an Australian hi-tech resource recovery company with world first tyre recycling technology with the only tyre recycling process in the world that does not create harmful emissions, and produces oil, carbon and the steel as valuable saleable outputs.
“Currently we are operating a tyre recycling processing plant in Warren, Western New South Wales and are scaling up those operations. We are currently raising capital for another plant in Toowoomba, Queensland, after having received all the necessary Government approvals,” he said.
Released for Green Distillation Technologies by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (www.drpr.com.au)
For further information please call or Dennis Rutzou on 0411 510 888.