National Framework for Chemicals Environmental Management (NChEM)
In June 2007 the then Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) endorsed the National Framework for Chemicals Environmental Management (NChEM), which includes:
- a Ministerial Agreement on Principles for Better Environmental Management of Chemicals, and
- a Chemicals Action Plan for the Environment.
The Ministerial Agreement demonstrates the commitment by Environment Ministers and their agencies to improve environmental aspects of Australia’s chemical management system.
- Principles for Better Environmental management of Chemicals - Ministerial Agreement and Action Plan (PDF - 110KB) - June 2007
Chemical Risk Assessment Guidance Manuals
The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) regulates the introduction of new industrial chemicals into Australia, assesses existing industrial chemicals on a priority bases and assesses the potential occupational health and safety, public health and environmental risks associated with their introduction and use. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is responsible for the assessment, registration and regulation of pesticides and veterinary medicines. The Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities undertakes the environmental risk assessment for consideration in the overall assessment carried out by NICNAS and the APVMA.
The Guidance Manuals used by the Department for environmental risk assessments provide an overview of:
- the steps taken to carry out an environmental risk assessment on industrial and agvet chemicals, including lifecycle considerations
- what data are needed and how they are used
- nationally adopted criteria, such as Persistence/Bioaccumulation/Toxicity (PBT)
- how international considerations are taken into account, and
- how risk assessors come to their recommendations about environmental risk management actions.
The Guidance Manuals outline the current practice for conducting environmental risk assessment of industrial chemicals, pesticides and veterinary medicines in Australia.
Download the guidance manuals
- Environmental risk assessment guidance manual for agricultural and veterinary chemicals (PDF - 811KB)
- Environmental risk assessment guidance manual for industrial chemicals (PDF - 710KB)
NChEM Chemicals Action Plan for the Environment - Progress reports
A report on the progress of the NChEM Chemicals Action Plan for the Environment: 2007 was accepted by EPHC on 5 July 2010. Key outcomes include the development of the implementation plans for COAG approval and commencement of projects under the plans. Significant progress was also made with the development of modules for the Environmental Controls Manual in most jurisdictions.