To learn more about how the Energy from Waste facility proposes to operate, you can:
An Energy from Waste Facility uses thermal technology to convert waste that would otherwise go to landfill into steam which drives turbines to generate electricity.
The amended development application was a proposal to construct and operate an energy from waste facility that would thermally treat up to 552,500 tonnes of residual waste per year. According to the proposal, this would produce about 69 mega-watts of electricity, capable of servicing approximately 100,000 homes. Included in the proposal is associated infrastructure, such as a waste bunker, boiler house, steam turbines for electricity generation and an air emission stack.
Clause 55 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 allows a development application to be amended or varied by the applicant at any time before an application is determined, but only with the agreement of the consent authority.
The development application was amended on two occasions. In its capacity as delegate of the Minister for Planning, the Department, accepted the amendments to the development application.
The proposed is declared to be State Significant Development (SSD) as it would have a capital investment exceeding $30 million.
The Department has undertaken a merit-based assessment of the proposal in consultation with key stakeholders, including Blacktown City Council, Penrith Council and State government agencies such as the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and NSW Health.
The Department and the EPA also sought advice from independent expert consultants on human health risk assessment (EnRiskS) and international best practice waste to energy engineering (ARUP Pty Ltd).
The key issues considered by the Department in our assessment of the proposal included:
As part of the assessment process, a number of questions were raised by the Department, independent experts and key government authorities, including the EPA and NSW Health. Concerns were raised regarding the consistency of the proposal with the requirements of the EPA’s Energy from Waste Policy Statement (2015) and the robustness of the applicant’s human health risk assessment.
Following their review of the Applicant’s Response to Submissions:
Given the complexity and technical nature of the proposal, the Department engaged the following independent experts in 2014, at the onset of the assessment process, to assist with the assessment of the proposal:
The Department has also worked closely with experts from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and NSW Health. The Department sought their expert advice throughout the assessment, particularly with respect to the consistency of the proposal with the requirements of the Energy from Waste Policy Statement (2015) and the robustness of the applicant's human health risk assessment.
The experts raised concerns regarding the rigour of the applicant’s assessment against the EPA’s Energy from Waste Policy Statement (2015) and the assessment of risk to human health. The experts formally reviewed the application three times and met with the Applicant and its consultants on two occasions.
Despite two significant amendments to the proposal, ARUP maintains its view the proposed development is inconsistent with the Energy from Waste Policy Statement (2015). ARUP’s final review may be viewed on the Department’s major project website.
EnRiskS advises it is not possible to be confident the human health risk assessment is appropriate and sufficiently conservative and therefore the risk to human health is unknown. EnRiskS’s final review may be viewed on the Department’s major project website.
All submissions received are available on the Department’s major projects website.
The applicant's Response to Submissions Report (RTS) addresses issues raised by the community, councils and government authorities during exhibition of the amended EIS. The RTS is also available on our major projects website.
Based on the advice of the EPA, NSW Health and independent experts, the Department's assessment of the application concludes the proposal is inconsistent with the NSW EPA's Energy from Waste Policy Statement (2015), the air quality impacts and risk to human health are unknown and the development is not in the public interest.
In April 2018, the Department recommended to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) that the application be refused.
The Independent Planning Commissioned announced in July 2018 that the project be refused, citing "uncertainty" over human health and environmental impacts.
The IPC's Statement of Reasons for Decision found:
Page last updated: 04/07/2019