EPA Reducing Risk in the Premixed Concrete Industry

By on June 3, 2020

Following on from EPA’s article in Sand & Stone issue 109 regarding “Helping you manage risk to the environment” further information is given on EPA’s Reducing Risk in the Premixed Concrete Industry (Guideline) publication number 1806 from December 2019.

Table of contents

1.About this guideline

Originally published in 1998, EPA’s Environmental guidelines for the concrete batching industry (publication 628) were intended to support the industry to operate without causing adverse environmental impacts. Until 2007, concrete batching sites were defined as ‘scheduled premises’ – meaning occupiers were required to obtain an EPA works approval and/or licence, and/or provide a financial assurance.

The focus of this updated guideline is to support operators of concrete batching plants and pre-cast concrete manufacturing plants to manage the risk of harm to human health and the environment through good industry practice.

In publishing this guideline, EPA Victoria reinforces that it is the responsibility of operators to identify, manage and control the risks that pollution or waste from their activities may pose to human health and the environment.

1.1. What does it cover?

  • This guideline covers:
  • a summary of the concrete batching process
  • how to assess, manage and control risks on your site
  • practical performance outcomes
  • examples of controls you can put in place, that can help you minimise risk of harm.

1.2. Why is it important?

As an industry operator, it is your responsibility to manage your business to reduce risk to human health and the environment. This guideline provides suggested controls to assist you in achieving the performance outcomes outlined in section 4, by reducing or eliminating potential risks to air, water, soil and noise.

Reducing or eliminating risk is important because the materials used, and the size of the industry, have the potential to create considerable harm. Unless risks are well managed, industry activities could:

  • impact surrounding residential communities
  • generate dust releases to air
  • generate high volumes of alkaline and contaminated wash water for disposal, accumulate sediment and block drains
  • pollute water through stored chemicals and fuel
  • generate waste concrete to landfill
  • generate excess noise.

Assessing and controlling risk in a structured way will help you to:

  • prevent harm to human health and the environment
  • comply with your legal obligations
  • meet community expectations.

2.About the concrete batching process

This section gives a description of premixed concrete and two types of concrete batching plants:

  • Overhead bin batching plants and
  • Front-end loader batching plants.

3.How to manage risk?

This section details the risk management process. It is the responsibility of the owner to understand and assess the risks. This includes understanding how concrete batching activities can harm air, water, land, and cause harm from waste and excess noise.

Those risks need to manage onsite by taking reasonable steps to put appropriate controls in place.

4.Control options for minimising risk of harm

This section provides examples of control options that can be put in place to achieve the performance outcomes below. These outcomes can help focus efforts to eliminate or reduce the risk of harm to human health and the environment.

A series of control option checklists as given for air, water, waste and noise.

The Guideline may be found at https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/about-epa/publications/1806. Thank you to allCMPA members that contributed to the document.

Sponsored Ads