VCAT Allows Coliban Water Licence Amendment

EPA Victoria considers the decision to allow further amendments to a Coliban Region Water Corporation licence still gives appropriate protection for the health of the Campaspe River and the environment.

A December 2023 EPA approval to amend the licence for the operation of Coliban’s Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant set a ratio of less than one part effluent for every three parts of the receiving surface water flow rate of the Campaspe River.

Coliban challenged the decision at VCAT. Following a negotiated outcome, VCAT has varied the licence conditions.

Coliban will be allowed to release up to 2 parts effluent per 1 part receiving water flow, but it can only do so for up 30 per cent of the 800 megalitre annual discharge they are licensed to release. The remaining annual limit can be discharged at 1 part effluent per 3 parts receiving water flow at any other time.

Coliban must also operate and maintain an interlock that automatically diverts effluent from the Discharge Pump Station at the Treatment Plant to a holding lagoon when total ammonia concentration exceeds 1.4mg/L.

EPA said the outcome was reasonable and still gave good protection to the environment, put in place extensive controls including automated systems, and allowed the Kyneton plant to operate responsibly.

This is a complex outcome and EPA will be engaging with the community to give a thorough explanation of how it will work while still delivering on our environmental goals.

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