Environmental Protection

The 'heart' of the Burdekin

Environmental Protection is in relation to Council’s responsibities for the implementation of specific provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and subordinate legislation pertaining to the protection of the environment from environmental harm.  Other legislation administerd by Council in relation to environmental protection is the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011.

State Legislation includes:

  • Environmental Protection Act 1994
  • Environmental Protection Regulation 2008
  • Environmental Protection (Water) Policy 2009 (EPP Water)
  • Environmental Protection (Air) Policy 2008
  • Environmental Protection (Noise) Policy 1997
  • Environmental Protection (Waste Management) Regulation 2000
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling Regulation 2011

Activities regulated and enforced in relation to environmental protection include environmentally relevant activities (ERAs), contamination of waterways, environmental nuisances including light, noise, odour, particles and smoke, erosion and sediment control, illegal dumping and dewatering permits

  • Air Pollution

    Emissions into the air can cause a nuisance to neighbours and interfere with their normal daily activities. If severe enough, it can even impact on a person's health as well as the environment.

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    Environmental Nuisances

    There are many things that can be called an environmental nuisance, the most common are:

    • Noise (excessive, repetitive, after hours)
    • Air (Dust, light, odour, smoke, spraydrift)
    • Asbestos (illegal dumping, incorrect dumping)

     What do I need to know before directing my complaint?

    To ensure your complaint is handled in a timely and efficient manner, it is important that Council is provided with the following accurate information:

    • The nature of the complaint, i.e. power tools starting before 6.30am;
    • The time the issue started and/or finished;
    • The street/site address and if known the name of the company/person involved;
    • How long the issue has been going on for; and
    • Any other information you feel may be beneficial in the handling of your complaint.

    A complaint about nuisance from residential premises must be lodged with the Council before it can be investigated. Note: callers details will remain confidential. Annonymous complaints will not be accepted. 

    Air Pollution

    Emissions into the air can cause a nuisance to neighbours and interfere with their normal daily activities. If severe enough, it can even impact on a person’s health and the environment.

    Should you have a problem with air emissions, always attempt to discuss the issue directly with the person responsible for the nuisance in order to try and achieve a solution. Give them an appropriate time frame to do something about it. If the situation has not changed after that time, it may then be necessary to contact the appropriate authority.

    Council only has jurisdiction to act on certain air pollution issues, and shares the responsibility of air emissions with other government bodies. Please refer to the information below which outlines authorities for various air emission types.

     

    Who do I contact for further information

    Note: In some circumstances you may be referred to a state government department.  The referral will be dependant on the source of the problem. For example a light problem from a state school will be referred whereas a light problem from a private school would be investigated by Council.

    Dust

    • Occuring from the clearing of vacant land in preparation for sub-division – Contact Council for further information
    • Occurring on residential land and some commercial land –  Contact Council for further clarification

    Light

    • Occurring on residential land and some commercial land – Contact Council for further clarification

    Odour

    • Spear pump – Contact Council for further clarification
    • Council sewage treatment plant – Contact Council for further clarification
    • Private sewage treatment plant – Contact your local office of the Department of Environment and Resource Management
    • Septic tank – Contact Council for further clarification
    • Dewatering – Contact Council for further clarification
    • General (eg. fertiliser, pesticides, waste, builders toilet) – Contact Council for further clarification

    Smoke

    • Backyard burning – Operated on residential land and some commercial land – Contact Council for further clarification
    • Chimney smoke – Operated on residential land and some commercial land – Contact Council for further clarification
    • Bushfire smoke – Contact your local office of Queensland Fire and Rescue Services
    • Smokey vehicle – Contact your local office of Queensland Transport
    • Cigarette smoke – Contact your local office of Queensland Health

    Spray Drift

    • Occurring on residential land and some commercial land – Contact Council for further clarification

    The Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 prohibits an activity from causing a nuisance to surrounding residents. This may include nuisance from over spray or odours associated with spray painting. Council will not allow continuous spray painting of large pieces of equipment and/or cars in residential areas or spray painting in the open where over spray and odour becomes a nuisance to surrounding residents.

    There are differing standards for spray painting dependant on numerous factors including:

    • Commercial operation
    • Zoning under the Town Planning Scheme
    • Registered under the Environmental Protection Act 1994
    • Non licensed premises (residential and general commercial)

     

     

  • Environmentally Relevant Activities

    An Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) is an activity that is required to be approved by either Council or State Government due to its potential to damage or pollute the environment (air, land, water and noise). The State Government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) and other state government agencies regulate higher risk activities whilst local councils regulate activities with only localised pollution potential.

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    An Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) is an activity that is required to be approved by either Council or State Government due to its potential to damage or pollute the environment (air, land, water and noise). The state government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) and other state government agencies regulate higher risk activities whilst local councils regulate activities with only localised pollution potential.

    The Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) places a general environmental duty on all persons to protect Queensland’s environment while allowing for ecologically sustainable development. It also requires Council to monitor the standard of operations in devolved ERAs.

    Who needs an approval?

    The applicant for a registration must be a legal entity (eg person(s) or Company).
    Note – a business name or shop name is not a legal entity and cannot be the registration holder.

    ERAs are defined and categorised under schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008, dependent upon their potential risk to the environment.

    A business that conducts any of the following activities requires a Registration Certificate from Council.  Note: If you are unsure if your business requires a Development Approval and Registration, please contact Council.

    • ERA 4 Poultry Farming (more than 1000 birds)
    • ERA 6  Asphalt Manufacturing
    • ERA 8  Chemical Storage (between 10m3 to 500m3)
    • ERA 12  Plastic Product Manufacturing (50t or more of plastic products/yr; or 5t or more of foam, composite plastics or rigid fibre-reinforced plastics/yr)
    • ERA 17 Abrasive Blasting
    • ERA 18  Boiler making or engineering (200t to 10000t/yr)
    • ERA 19  Metal Forming (10000t or more/yr)
    • ERA 20  Metal Recovery (less than 100t/day; or more than 100t/day or 10000t/yr)
    • ERA 21 Motor Vehicle Workshop Operation
    • ERA 37  Printing (200t or more/yr)
    • ERA 38 Surface Coating (1t or more/year)
    • ERA 43  Concrete Batching (200t or more/yr)
    • ERA 48 Wooden and Laminated Product Manufacturing (100t or more of wooden product/yr)
    • ERA 49 Boat Maintenance or Repair
    • ERA 61 Waste Incineration and Thermal Treatment

     A full list of ERAs, including those that require approval by State Government, can be found in Schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008.

    Who does not need an approval?

    If the activity related to your business is not included on the above list, you still have a responsibility to comply with the General Environmental Duty (Section 319), other relevant legislation, and other related applications to ensure that your business does not have an adverse impact on the environment.

    A full list of all ERAs can be found in Schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008.

  • ERA Licences and Fee Schedule

    An Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) is an activity that is required to be approved by either Council or State Government due to its potential to damage or pollute the environment (air, land, water and noise). The State Government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) and other state government agencies regulate higher risk activities whilst local [...]

    Preview...Hide...

    An Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) is an activity that is required to be approved by either Council or State Government due to its potential to damage or pollute the environment (air, land, water and noise). The State Government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) and other state government agencies regulate higher risk activities whilst local councils regulate activities with only localised pollution potential.

    The Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) places a general environmental duty on all persons to protect Queensland’s environment while allowing for ecologically sustainable development. It also requires Council to monitor the standard of operations in devolved ERAs.

    Fees

    On application

    Application fees to submit a development application to Environmental Health Services are listed in Council’s fees and charges. When the application is submitted, the development application and annual fee for the activity is payable.

    Once your Development Application is approved, you have 30 days to apply for a Registration Certificate without charge.

    If you are applying for a registration certificate at the same time as Development Approval the fee will be calculated as:

    • Development Approval – application fee plus annual fee; and
    • Registration Certificate – no additional charge.

    If you apply for a registration certificate after the 30 day period, you are required to submit an application as well as pay the application fee and annual fee for the activity.

    Annual fees

    Annual fees are payable each year by the 30 June and are based on the Aggregate Environmental Scores (AES) for each ERA. AES was determined by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and is based on the ERA’s potential environmental impact on water, the atmosphere or land.

    Some activities attract a higher AES than others because of their potential impact. For example, a motor vehicle workshop has an AES of 7, whereas a concrete batching plant has an AES of 30.

    Refer to Council’s fees and charges for further information about your ERA’s annual fee and AES.

    Making an application for an ERA registration certificate

    The Environmental Protection Act 1994 requires that any person carrying out an ERA must hold, or be acting under, a registration certificate for the activity. All operators are also required to have a development approval for the activity, unless a code of environmental compliance applies.

    Previously, any environmental authority, other than a deemed approval, that was in force immediately before 4 October 2004 was treated as a development approval and registration certificate. However, all environmental authorities and deemed approvals have now expired and if a deemed approval you are required to apply for a Registration Certificate.

    Application for Registration for New Activities

    A person must apply to be a registered operator to carry out one or more ERAs, including for example:

    • One or more ERAs at a single premise,
    • One or more ERAs at two or more premises.

    An application for a registration certificate may be refused if the applicant is not a suitable person to be a registered operator having regard to the applicant’s environmental record.

    Applications for Multiple Activities

    If an application is being made for multiple activities at two or more premises on a single registration certificate, an additional attachment to the registration application form must be submitted to demonstrate that these activities will be managed as part of a single integrated operation.

    You will be advised of the decision to grant a single registration certificate or multiple registration certificates.

    When applying for multiple activities as a single integrated operation, the fee payable is the application fee plus the highest annual fee of the activities being applied for. If Environmental Health Services decides to grant more than one registration certificate the additional fees will be advised.

    Application for Continuing Registration (eg Transfer due to sale of business) 

    If you are taking over a business from an existing operator, you will need to indicate on the registration application form that you are applying for a continuing registration. In addition to the standard details on the registration form, the details and signatures of the new operator and the existing operator will be required.

    It is a requirement that the existing operator notify the buyer of the need to hold a registration certificate.

    It is also recommended that you conduct a business search to determine if there are any outstanding requisitions or outstanding fees owed by the business.

    How to cancel/surrender a ERA registration certificate

    You are required to surrender your registration certificate if you have closed down and no longer operate the ERA activities as listed on your registration certificate.

    There are no fees associated with this form and you can submit your completed application form to the Environment and Health section. In your application, you will need to include details demonstrating that the site was left in a environmentally sound state and that you complied with the conditions of your Development Approval.

    The original Registration Certificate should be attached to this application.

    Annual Returns

    At least 22 business days before each anniversary day for the registration certificate, Burdekin Shire Council is required to give the registration certificate holder an annual notice requiring the holder to pay the annual fee and to complete an annual return. Should you require assistance please contact the Environment and Health section.

    Additional Information

    • Please contact the Environment and Health section for further information.
    • Copies of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and associated legislation can be found at the Queensland Legislation website.
    • If your ERA is not devolved to the Burdekin Shire Council, contact the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection or obtain more information from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection website.
  • Noise Pollution

    Noise is unwanted sound. Noise can disturb neighbours, disrupt their sleep and interfere with their normal daily activities. What can be unbearable for one person may pass almost unnoticed by another. Council can investigate a number of local noise issues including air conditioners, building work and pool pumps.

    Preview...Hide...

    Environmental Nuisances

    There are many things that can be called an environmental nuisance, the most common are:

    • Noise (excessive, repetitive, after hours)
    • Air (Dust, light, odour, smoke, spraydrift)
    • Asbestos (illegal dumping, incorrect dumping)

    What do I need to know before directing my complaint?

    To ensure your complaint is handled in a timely and efficient manner, it is important that Council is provided with the following accurate information:

    • The nature of the complaint, i.e. power tools starting before 6.30am;
    • The time the issue started and/or finished;
    • The street/site address and if known the name of the company/person involved;
    • How long the issue has been going on for; and
    • Any other information you feel may be beneficial in the handling of your complaint.

    A complaint about nuisance from residential premises must be lodged with the Council before it can be investigated. Anonymous complaints may make it difficult for COuncil to resolve the issue.  During the investigation Council may require further information or assistance from the complainant and without contact information it may not be possible to resolve the matter. Please note that details of complaints remain confidential.

    Noise Pollution

    Noise is unwanted sound. Everyone reacts differently to noise. Noise can disturb neighbours, disrupt their sleep and interfere with their normal daily activities. What can be unbearable for one person may pass almost unnoticed by another. How annoyed we become depends on the loudness, time, place and frequency of the noise. Noise can even impact on people’s health, especially the very young and the elderly.

    Should you have a problem with noise, always attempt to discuss the issue directly with the person responsible for the nuisance in order to try and achieve a solution. Give them an appropriate time frame to do something about it. If the situation hasn’t changed after that time, it may then be necessary to contact the appropriate authority.

    Council only has jurisdiction to act on certain noise pollution issues, and shares the responsibility of noise control with other government bodies. Please refer to the information below which outlines authorities for various noise types.

    The most common noise issues investigated by Council are:

    • Air conditioners

    Operated on residential land and some commercial land – Contact Council for further clarification

    Under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 noise from air conditioners is a breach if:

    (a)   from 7am to 10pm on any day – the noise is more than 5dB(A) above background; or

    (b)    from 10pm to 7am on any day – the noise is more than 3 dB(A) above background.

     

    • Building work

    Residential & commercial – Contact Council for further clarification

    Under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 noise from building work is allowed on a business day or Saturday between 6.30am and 6.30pm.
    No audible noise is to occur on Sundays and Public Holidays.

     

    • Regulated devices (eg. power tools, mowers, leaf blowers and generators)

    Operated on residential land and some commercial land – Contact Council for further clarification

    Under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 noise from regulated devices is allowed on a business day or Saturday between 7.00am and 7.00pm.  On other days, eg Sundays and Public Holidays, between 8.00am and 7.00pm.

     

    • Pumps (including swimming pool and spa) 

    Operated on residential land and some commercial land – Contact Council for further clarification

    Under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 noise from pumps is a breach if:

    (a)   before 7am or after 10pm on any day if the noise is audible;

    (b)   from 7am to 7pm on any day if the noise is more than 5dB(A) above background; or

    (c)    from 7pm to 10pm on any day if the noise is more than 3 dB(A) above background.

     

     

    For further information on other noise problems:

    • Aircraft noise

    Contact your local office of Air Services Australia

    • Amplified and people noise

    Musical noise (eg. stereo, instrument) – Contact your local office of the Police Service

    Parties, rowdy behaviour – Contact your local office of the Police Service

    Burglar alarms (eg. house, car) – Contact your local office of the Police Service

    Concerts and events – Contact Council for further clarification

    Megaphones or public address systems – Contact Council for further clarification

    • Liquor licensed premises (eg. pub, club)

    All – Contact your local office of the Liquor Licensing Division

    • Power boats

    On water – Contact Council for further clarification

    On land – Contact Council for further clarification

    • Vehicle noise

    On private land (eg. trail bikes) – Contact your local office of the Police Service

    On Council land (eg. trail bikes) – Contact Council for further clarification

    On race tracks – Contact Council for further clarification

    Noisy vehicle – Contact your local office of Queensland Transport

    “Hoons” – Contact your local office of the Police Service

    Traffic noise on major arterial roads – Contact your local office of the Department of Main Roads

    Traffic noise on minor roads – Contact Council for further clarification

    After hours deliveries, refrigerated vehicles – Contact Council for further clarification

     

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