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Report of the Third Review of the National Environment Protection Council Acts (Commonwealth State and Territory) December 2012 National Environment Protection Council Response to the Report of the Third Review of the National Protection Council Acts



Report of the Third Review of the National Environment Protection Council Acts (Commonwealth State and Territory) December 2012 National Environment Protection Council Response to the Report of the Third Review of the National Protection Council Acts

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Tabled paper 599


Tabled papers for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT






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34 National Environment Protection Council NEPC Acts Third Review 2012 Harmonisation Guidelines For example, a guidelines-based model could be used in place of the Assessment of Site Contamination National Environment Protection Measure or the Ambient Air Quality National Environment Protection Measure. Currently the National Environment Protection Measures framework provides for streamlined translation into jurisdictional statutory schemes and the statutory basis for any guidelines assists in building stakeholder confidence. Adoption of a guidelinesbased model outside the National Environment Protection Measures framework would not have these benefits. It is also possible that a regulation impact statement could still be required either at the national or jurisdictional level depending on the guidelines use in regulatory contexts. If this were the case there would be little saving in time or cost associated with their development. Intergovernmental Agreements For example, an intergovernmental agreement could be used as the basis for establishing the National Pollutant Inventory and the Movement of Controlled Waste Framework. The requirements currently established in the National Environment Protection Measures could be presented as a model attached to the agreement, for implementation at a jurisdictional level. This may require a full regulatory development process in each participating jurisdiction. Some current National Environment Protection Measures may be more suited to this model, such as the Diesel Vehicle Emissions National Environment Protection Measure and the Air Toxics National Environment Protection Measure. Statutory Approaches with Jurisdictional Implementation This model is exemplified by National Environment Protection Measures with national standards, goals, protocols or guidelines established under the National Environment Protection Council Acts, with implementation through jurisdictional arrangements. Cooperative/Uniform Legislation Such a model could be used as an alternative to some National Environment Protection Measures, resulting in directly enforceable requirements and standards. For example, the requirements set out in the Controlled Waste National Environment Protection Measure could be translated into a cooperative legislative scheme that has direct enforceability. However, this would incur significant additional costs and potentially duplicate some elements of existing jurisdictional arrangements for waste movements. Commonwealth Legislation Such a model is highly effective if sufficient constitutional jurisdiction exists, as with the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012. The legislation can set product standards and require compliance at all levels (at borders and domestically) due to constitutional powers arising from the existence of the relevant international convention. However, without a relevant international treaty there is insufficient constitutional power for the Commonwealth to comprehensively regulate activity at all levels.

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