Sea dumping permits
Australia regulates the loading and dumping of waste at sea under the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 (the Sea Dumping Act). The Sea Dumping Act also fulfils Australia's international obligations under the London Convention and Protocol to prevent marine pollution by controlling dumping of wastes and other matter.
Under the Sea Dumping Act, the Commonwealth aims to minimise pollution threats by:
- prohibiting ocean disposal of waste considered too harmful to be released in the marine environment, and
- regulating permitted waste disposal to ensure environmental impacts are minimised.
The Sea Dumping Act applies to all vessels, aircraft and platforms in Australian waters and to all Australian vessels and aircrafts in any part of the sea.
Permits are required for all sea dumping operations. Permits are most commonly issued for dredging operations and the creation of artificial reefs. Permits have also been issued for dumping of vessels, platforms or other man-made structures and for burials at sea.
The Sea Dumping Act does not apply to operational discharges from ships, such as sewage and galley scraps, which are regulated under legislation administered by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
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