Licensing of environmental standards can drive expensive infrastructure solutions if you want to achieve high levels of compliance. An alternative cost-effective approach may be to source an equivalent level of compliance through cheaper actions undertaken by third parties. This is known as an environmental offsets program.
RMCG was employed by Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) to help develop the first such water quality offsets licence application in Victoria. This related to a works approval and licence amendment for GVW’s wastewater treatment plant at Kilmore. The project involved negotiating with local landholders to reduce their nutrient discharges to the local creeks through simple cost-effective works, such as excluding stock from the waterway, instead of GVW having to construct a highly expensive infrastructure solution.
The EPA then asked RMCG to draft a case-study about the project to provide lessons for other water corporations interested in progressing the same approach. EPA has now published that case-study here