Policy Update – November 2022

Practical guidance documents to support the implementation of EPA revised guideline for water recycling

Feedback on the drafts of the three guidance documents has now been received from both EPA and DELWP.  This feedback is quite extensive and has been provided to the consultants for comment. We are currently awaiting their advice on how they will address the feedback.

Carbon Offsets project

Following finalisation of the Phase 2A report, a Portfolio Workshop was held on 21 October 2022.  The workshop was well attended, had high energy and provided excellent input for the project.  This input will feed into, and inform, the portfolio approach to meeting the Victorian Water sector’s demand for ACCUs.

Governance Workshop is scheduled for 4 November 2022.  The intent of this workshop is to obtain input to the governance principles that need to be in place to capture the benefits of a collective approach.  This will be further refined with the Governance Working Group and form part of the recommendation to the Managing Directors at the end of Phase Two of the project.

General Environmental Duty and Water Corporation Information Gathering Notice

In early October 2022 the EPA issued all Water Corporations that operate a wastewater treatment plant with an Information Gathering Notice (IGN). The purpose of the IGN is to establish a baseline for Water Corporations’ wastewater treatment reuse/discharge capacity against current and future flows, gain information on Water Corporations’ planning for future wastewater infrastructure replacement and capacity expansion to manage aging assets and expected population growth, and understand how Water Corporations are considering other factors that may influence their wastewater treatment and reuse/discharge risk under the Environment Protection Act 2017.

EPA has requested that responses to this IGN be submitted by 20 December 2022.  VicWater has written to EPA requesting an extension of this submission date to 28 February 2023 and is coordinating the development of a standard template to use for responses to EPA.

Collaborative improvements to onsite wastewater management practices

A Project Steering Committee established comprising members from DELWP, VicWater, and the Water Corporations and Councils which were part of the VAGO audit.

The consultant has completed a literature review and undertaking background interviews.  This work has been written up as a background paper to inform a workshop that is scheduled for 8 November 2022.

The project is still scheduled for completion by mid-December 2022.