Crematoria industry audit
The EPA has completed an audit of the crematoria industry sector in 2016 and has prepared a report on its findings.
The audit was considered timely with Australia’s planned ratification of the latest tranche of chemicals listed in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), including pentachlorobenzene which can be emitted during the cremation process.
A review of mercury emissions from this sector was also undertaken as part of this audit because of the planned ratification of the Minamata Convention on mercury.
The audit aimed to assess compliance with EPA licence conditions for the sector and suitability of current licence conditions as well as to review the current operating methods and pollution control equipment utilised at each site.
This was done to determine whether sites would be affected by the planned ratification of the Stockholm and Minamata conventions.
The audit found:
- General compliance with EPA conditions regarding the minimisation of smoke and odour.
- All cremators designed after 2006 were operated in line with Best Available Techniques and Best Environmental Practice (BAT/BEP) guidance to minimise pentachlorobenzene and other POPs.
- Some, but not all, cremators designed and constructed prior to 2006 are not operating in line with this guidance for part or all of the cremation process and may be affected by the planned ratification of the latest tranche of chemicals listed in the Stockholm Convention on POPs.
The EPA will now seek to implement the audit recommendations to develop new standard EPA licence conditions for this sector and prepare position statements to better communicate the EPA’s requirements to the industry.