Under the Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standard (IChEMS), chemicals are listed in one of seven schedules according to their environmental risk.
Our scheduling strategy sets out our approach to selecting chemicals for IChEMS scheduling.
Regulatory scheduling decisions set out each chemical's level of concern to the environment and control measures that should be applied to address that level of concern. Industrial chemicals that pose greater risks to people and our environment have tighter controls.
Regulatory scheduling decisions will be easily accessible to industry, the community and government through the public IChEMS Register. The IChEMS Register will be available after the first scheduling decisions are made.
Scheduling decisions are made under the Industrial Chemicals Environment Management (Register) Act 2021 (ICEMR Act). Information gathered through public consultation on proposed regulatory scheduling decisions is important to support transparent and informed scheduling.
Information used to make scheduling decisions can include:
- Risk assessments conducted by the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS)
- Information gathered through public consultation.
- The confidentiality provisions under the ICEMR Act mean that anyone providing information about IChEMS scheduling can request that commercially sensitive or otherwise confidential information not be publicly disclosed.
- Advice from the IChEMS Advisory Committee.
- Information from consultation with state and territory environment ministers.
- Information from specific people, e.g. from chemical introducers.
The ICEMR Act and instruments
Scheduling decisions are made under the Industrial Chemicals Environment Management (Register) Act 2021 (ICEMR Act).
The Rules, Principles, and Register are legislative instruments made under the ICEMR Act.
The Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management (Register) Rules 2022 (the Rules) lay out additional matters the Minister must consider when making scheduling decisions.
Scheduling decisions are guided by the Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management (Register) Principles 2022 (the Principles).
The Principles are a supporting instrument to the ICEMR Act and the basis for classification of a chemical into one of seven schedules and for setting any management standards that apply to that chemical.
The decision-maker must apply the criteria in the Principles when making scheduling decisions.
Australian PBT Criteria
The Australian PBT Criteria are part of the Principles. These Criteria inform the categorisation of organic chemicals as persistent (P), bioaccumulative (B) and toxic (T).
The IChEMS Register will be a record of scheduling decisions made under the ICEMR Act. We expect the Register to be made alongside the first scheduling decisions in late 2022.
Risk management measures
Risk management measures will be incorporated in regulatory scheduling decisions. These identify any actions that must be taken by everyone in the supply chain to manage the industrial chemical properly so that it does not pollute the environment.
A standard suite of risk management measures known as the IChEMS Minimum Standards has been developed in consultation with states and territories.
Public consultation on the draft decision-making principles was undertaken in early 2022.
Public consultation on draft legislation for the National Standard for Environmental Risk Management of Industrial Chemicals (now known as IChEMS) was undertaken in 2020. An archived version of this consultation material is available.