Environmental Audits

Our Exemplar Global certified auditors and lead auditors have extensive experience in performing environmental audits for manufacturers, construction contractors, project principals and regulators.

We have been appointed as environmental auditors by the NSW Land and Environment Court and by the EPA. We are also approved by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment as independent environmental auditors and environmental management representatives (EMRs).

This means we not only know what needs to be done to manage your environmental obligations, we have immense experience in getting things done, the right way, the first time. This ensures optimum time and cost outcomes. We perform the following types of audits:

  • Environmental regulatory compliance audits,
  • Facility environmental audits,
  • Construction environmental audits,
  • Integrated Management System audits, and
  • Environmental Management Systems (EMS) audits.

Environmental Regulatory Compliance Audits

We have an established comprehensive environmental legal compliance audit process that we can tailor to individual operations. This covers compliance with approval and consent conditions, licence conditions and statutory obligations. We undertake such audits to help clients fulfil the requirements of development approvals or pollution licences, to help regulators check the compliance of projects or facilities or to enforce court orders.

Construction Environmental Audits

Our accredited auditors can perform environmental audits on your property, construction site or remediation project to ensure that developers and builders are in full compliance with the relevant legislation and approvals to protect the environment, the workers and the community.

Facility Environmental Audit

We can undertake independent audits of your facilities to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and benchmark operations against best practice environmental management in terms of water, waste and energy.

Example Projects

School Construction Audits 

Molino Stewart has completed construction audits for a number of school building projects, which are classified as State Significant Development. These audits typically involve a pre-construction audit, followed by annual audits until the completion of construction, and may also include operational audits. School construction projects audited include: 

  • Kent Road Public School 
  • Loreto Kirribilli  
  • Glenfield School for Specific Purposes 

Bushfire Audits 

To comply with IPART requirements, Essential Energy required its high voltage customers to demonstrate that their privately owned and maintained high voltage electricity assets were appropriately managed, commensurate with their bushfire risk. Molino Stewart was engaged by several organisations to independently audit the bushfire risk assessment and bush fire risk management of their assets. This involved a desktop review and, where there was a potential bushfire risk, a site inspection to assess compliance against Essential Energy specified audit criteria. The audits covered a variety of high voltage arrangements and industry including substations and high voltage power lines for mines, defence facilities, food processing factories, manufacturing plants and bulk water pumping stations.

Bourke Small Stock Abattoir Independent Environmental Audit (CAPRA Developments Pty Ltd)

Molino Stewart undertook the first independent environmental audit of both the construction and operational phases of the Bourke Small Stock Abattoir. The audit reviewed the project’s performance via systems, records, procedures, and site observations in relation to the conditions of the development consent statements of commitment and the relevant environment protection licences. The abattoir had a complex set of conditions including an EPL and obligations under the Biobanking Agreement. As such, Molino Stewart liaised with OEH, the EPA, and the BCT in order to determine whether obligations had been fulfilled by the abattoir as part of the audit scope. The audit was conducted in accordance with the audit objectives/terms of reference established during the audit briefing meeting.

Widemere Recycling Facility Independent Environmental Audit (Boral Ltd)

Widemere Recycling Facility is located in the LGA of Fairfield and is one of the largest recycling facilities in NSW. One of the conditions of approval for expansion in 2016 stipulates that the facility needs to be audited every three years on an ongoing basis. Molino Stewart was engaged to conduct the second independent audit for the site in 2020. The audit reviewed the project’s performance against the conditions outlined in the conditions of approval, the Environmental Protection Licence and additional Pollution Reduction Programs, agency responses arising during consultation, and other relevant documentation, procedures, and plans.

Orange Waste Project Independent Environmental Audit (Orange City Council)

Molino Stewart undertook the first independent environmental compliance audit of the Orange City Council Waste Project. The audit was required by conditions in the development consent. The audit reviewed the projects’ performance via systems, records, procedures and site observations in relation to the conditions of the original development consent, Orange City Council’s statements of commitment and the relevant environment protection licences for two sites. The audit was conducted in accordance with the audit objectives/terms of reference established during the audit briefing meeting. The audit considered a total of 380 conditions or statements of commitment.

Blaxland Waste Management Facility Audit

The Blaxland Waste Management Facility has an existing Environment Protection Licence and operates as a putrescible Class I Solid Waste Landfill. Molino Stewart was engaged to conduct an environmental audit based on what might be expected from an unscheduled audit by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The Audit needed to cover a review of the environmental systems, procedures and practices, and also include recommendations as to any areas which require improvement, provided both verbally as feedback/mentoring to the staff and as a short report outlining findings and any required actions.

Auto Recyclers PoEO Audit

Molino Stewart undertook two audits of operations on the premises against the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (PoEO Act) in both 2017 and 2018. The audits were each required in response to inspections by Blacktown City Council and the site being issued with a Direction to take Preventive Action. The site is operated as Pick ‘n’ Pay Less Self-Serve Auto Parts and processes and recycles scrap metal. The audit reviewed the site’s performance via systems, records, procedures and site observations in relation to all parts of the PoEO Act.

Cairncross Waste Management Independent Environmental Audit

Molino Stewart undertook the first independent environmental audit for the extension of landfill at Cairncross Waste Management Facility. The audit reviewed the construction of the State Significant Development against the conditions of the development consent and reviewed the project’s performance via systems, records, procedures, and site observations. The audit was conducted in accordance with the audit objectives and terms of reference established during the initial audit briefing meeting with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and in accordance with NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Independent Audit Post Approval Requirements (2020).

Auto Recyclers Independent Environmental Audit

To support Rush Metal Recyclers’ State Significant Development application to upgrade the scale and scope of materials recycled on its site, Molino Stewart conducted an independent environmental audit (IEA) of the site. This audit reviewed the site’s compliance against all conditions of consent in force at the time of the audit. Within the nine consents or modifications that were applicable at the time of the audit, there were 207 conditions of consent in force. The audit reviewed the site’s performance via systems, records, procedures and site observations in relation to these conditions.

Albury Waste Facility Air Quality Assessment

There have been numerous community complaints regarding odour emitted from the Albury Waste Management Centre. Molino Stewart was engaged to investigate the source of the odours, how they are impacting the community and potential solutions to the problem.

Key Relevant Tasks Performed:

  • Identified main odour sources,
  • Specialist subconsultant modelled odour dispersion to satisfy NSW EPA requirements,
  • Conducted community survey and met with residents to better understand odour impacts,
  • Prepared community newsletter to explain the investigations,
  • Preparing an odour assessment report with recommendations to address impacts,
  • Negotiated with EPA an agreed set of actions to minimise site odour and emissions

Borg Panels Oberon Independent Environmental Audit

Borg operates a particleboard and MDF manufacturing facility at 124 Lowes Mount Road, Oberon, NSW. This facility was acquired by Borg in 2010, with a further acquisition of a neighbouring plant in 2012. State Significant Development consent was issued in 2017 for the expansion and continued operation of the facility, with a number of modifications to the consent issued subsequently. Molino Stewart was engaged to undertake an Independent Audit for the Borg Panels Timber Processing Facility in accordance with the development consent (SSD 7016) and the Independent Audit Post Approval Requirements (PAR) (2020).

Taralga Wind Farm EMR (windfarm owners)

Molino Stewart was approved in 2009 by the Department of Planning and Environment to be the appointed Environmental Management Representative (EMR) to independently audit the construction and operation of this 51 turbine wind farm north of Goulburn. This included auditing of both CEMP and OEMP and various specialist sub plans as well as the construction and operation of the windfarm. This was a particularly challenging project because it had significant community opposition and scrutiny, the ownership of the project changed four times during Molino Stewart’s commission and the eventual constructors and operators wanted to make significant changes to the design and construction of the wind farm which had originally been approved. This was during a period when a neighbouring wind farm was taken to court by the community over constructing unapproved modifications to its facility. Molino Stewart liaised with the Department of Planning and Environment over modifications and approvals, reviewed and approved CEMP, OEMP and relevant sub-plans, complaint and agency inquiry responses and conducted site audits. We continue to undertake regular operational audits of the facility as part of our ongoing EMR role

Light Rail Audits

Molino Stewart was approved by DPIE and appointed by TfNSW as the independent environmental auditor for the construction of the Parramatta Light Rail (PLR) project. We completed the first three of five annual environmental audits, which include auditing TfNSW’s management role as well as four separate construction works contracts and PLR operation. Molino Stewart also conducted construction environmental audits for the Sydney Light Rail and Newcastle Light Rail projects.

Transport infrastructure Compliance & Assurance Audits (TfNSW)

Molino Stewart has been on the Transport for New South Wales environmental auditor panel since 2013 and has conducted a number of strategic audits focusing on complex areas of management functions and the robustness and integrity of processes and systematic functions. We have conducted numerous operational/performance audits to validate effective functioning of internal processes and procedures to deliver train and bus infrastructure projects in an efficient manner. This has included more than 20 compliance audits for contractors and other Transport for NSW project delivery partners in accordance with contract requirements. We have assessed ISO Certification and other accreditation through the course of both internal and external audits commissioned and carried out under this panel.

Piggery Mandatory Environmental Audit (NSW EPA)

Molino Stewart was appointed by the NSW Environment Protection Authority to conduct a mandatory environmental audit of a piggery that had repeatedly breached licence conditions. The audit report was used as evidence in legal proceedings. This was the seventh facility where Molino Stewart was appointment by NSW EPA or the Land and Environment Court to conduct a mandatory environmental audit in response to ongoing licence breaches.

AJ Bush Rendering Plant EPA Notice Response

Molino Stewart undertook an environmental compliance assessment of the A J Bush and Sons rendering plant. The assessment was in response to a Notice issued by the NSW EPA in regard to odour issues and suspected pooling and runoff of effluent. The audit reviewed the project’s performance via systems, records, procedures and site observations in relation to the conditions of the original development consent. Molino Stewart continues to work with the site on its environmental management and compliance activities.

Sinter Plant Ore Preparation Upgrade Independent Audit

Molino Stewart has, over the past few years, undertaken the annual independent environmental compliance audit of the BlueScope Steel Ltd. Ore Preparation Upgrade Project. The audit was required by conditions in the development consent. The audit reviewed the project’s performance via systems, records, procedures and site observations in relation to the conditions of the original development consent. The audit was conducted in accordance with the audit objectives/terms of reference established during the audit briefing meeting.

Lithgow Council Environmental Audits

Lithgow City Council (LCC) holds licences under the Protection of the Environment Operations (POEO) Act for six activities. There had been a number of non-compliances by LCC with licence conditions, particularly in respect of the waste facility and the Lithgow sewage treatment plan. In response to these non-compliances, the EPA decided that LCC should have all of its licensed activities audited from an environmental standpoint and that the audit results be used to give direction to the most appropriate remedial actions. LCC engaged consulting firms Geolyse and Molino Stewart to conduct the audits with Steven Molino being the lead auditor. The report summarised the findings for the six individual licensed premises audits, the findings for the corporate environmental systems audit and the conclusions and recommendations derived from the entire audit.

Environmental Management System ISO 14001:2015 Compliance Audit (Property Development Company)

Molino Stewart was appointed to independently audit the existing environmental management system of one of Australia’s leading property developers to determine whether it complied with the requirements of ISO14001:2015. Gaps were identified and recommendations made on how to achieve full compliance.

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