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Concrete In Australia : December 2014
Concrete in Australia Vol 40 No 4 23 Qld introduces code of practice for concrete batching Queensland has introduced a new Code of Practice for the concrete batching industry, focused on general environmental duty. It applies to all new concrete plants constructed in the state and also applies to existing plants “where appropriate” for the next seven years. It will be up for ministerial review in August 2021. While the code is a voluntarily adopted standard, complying with it provides the operator with a defence against a charge of unlawfully causing environmental harm “and several other charges to the extent the code is relevant”, according to the document. It says the challenge for concrete batching plant operators is to manage the environmental and community risk while remaining close to the market. The code warns that remaining cognisant of potential impacts will assist the operator in operating sustainably. Queensland’s Code of Practice lists four performance outcomes related to air, water, noise and waste. Specifically, dust and particulate emissions must be controlled in order to prevent or minimise nuisance at surrounding premises. Storm and process water must be appropriately managed to prevent or minimise the release of contaminants offsite, including to groundwater. Storage of fuel, lubricants and other chemicals must be managed to minimise their release; and cleaning of equipment and vehicles to minimise contamination of soil and water. Noise nuisance must also be prevented or minimised at noise sensitive places; and waste production and disposal must be minimised, and waste must be managed to prevent environmental harm. Some of these provide the option for an environmentally harmful activity to be prevented or minimised however if the operator selects to minimise this, it must be demonstrated that consideration had been made to: sensitivity of the environment; nature of the harm; existing technical knowledge; feasibility to relocate the activity; and financial implications of using different control measures. The code suggests operators develop a plan to protect the environment and reduce business risks and to gain a competitive advantage. “By developing and following an environmental management plan or system your business can demonstrate that all reasonable care is being taken to avoid causing environmental harm,” the document states. Importantly, businesses will be able to use this as a defence for compliance purposes. It is not an offence not to comply with general environmental duty, however operators must give notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 of serious or material environmental harm caused or is threatened to occur. www.concreteinstitute.com.au Keeping abreast of the latest issues and developments within the dynamic fields of engineering and concrete technology is crucial, and this is why professional bodies mandate Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The Concrete Institute conducts regular seminars, technical evenings and site visits around Australia – most of which count fully toward relevant CPD requirements. Visit the Institute’s web-site to browse for educational programs in your State, or for news on National programs that are of interest to you. Save while you accumulate CPD Hours Concrete Institute Members benefit from significant discounts on registration fees for the Institute’s Educational Programs. Membership is generally tax-deductible, so join today and start solving the CPD puzzle. The Concrete Institute’s educational programs aim to increase knowledge through the dissemination of fundamental and applied information for the benefit of the concrete and construction industry in general. SOLVE THE THE CPD PUZZLE 23 - News.indd 23 23 - News.indd 23 21/10/14 12:19 PM 21/10/14 12:19 PM