In December 2019, the Minister of Energy and Environment, the Hon. Matt Kean MP requested that the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer establish a working group to undertake a review of Energy from Waste (EFW) in NSW, to ensure proposals adopt international best practice standards and controls to protect human health and the environment.
The report from this work was submitted in May 2020 and additional advice was provided in November 2020 to communicate work undertaken subsequently, including an independent expert review of the draft NSW best practice air emission limits for EFW plants.
Terms of Reference
The EFW Working Group will provide the Minister for Energy and Environment with advice on environment protection standards and frameworks to ensure that proposed energy recovery facilities in NSW undertake robust assessments and adopt best practice standards and controls to ensure human health and the environment are protected. The advice will consider:
- Benchmarking NSW air emission limits with international best practice for energy from waste facilities, including an assessment of real-time monitoring approaches
- Frameworks to ensure that energy from waste proposals align with the NSW waste hierarchy and support economically efficient resource recovery and environmentally sustainable waste disposal
- Contribution that energy recovery facilities may provide to achieve the NSW Government's policy of net zero emissions by 2050
- Frameworks to ensure that appropriate environmental assessments and community engagement are undertaken
- Framework to balance the use of proven technologies and the need to encourage innovative technologies, and
- Other matters where relevant.
EFW Working Group
The EFW Working Group was comprised of:
- Chair – NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte
- Deputy Chair – Director, Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer
- NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Regulatory Practice & Advice
- Department of Planning, Industry & Environment, Industry Assessments
- Ministry of Health, Environmental Health Branch
NSW EPA Further Consultation
The NSW EPA has released an updated EFW policy statement which is open for comment. Further information, including the policy statement, is available here: