In conjunction with implementation of the government's response to the Montara incident, and following the establishment of NOPSEMA on 1 January 2012 as the national environment regulator for petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters, the department is undertaking a comprehensive review of the Environment Regulations established under the OPGGSA.
The objective of the review is to ensure that the Environment Regulations are a suitable basis for regulators to minimise impacts on the environment arising from offshore exploration, development, operation and decommissioning of petroleum and carbon storage activities and facilities.
As a first step in conducting the review, on 26 March 2012 the department released the draft Terms of reference for public consultation (see Related documents). The public consultation process closed on 16 April 2012 and comments received were taken into account in finalising the Terms of reference.
Public consultation – Issues paper
The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism invited stakeholders to make submissions on the issues paper on 21 December 2012. The public consultation period closed on 28 February 2013.
Twenty submissions were received and are listed in the table below.
The department is currently considering the submissions and will prepare drafting instructions and undertake an assessment of regulatory impacts for consideration by the government.
The department aims to finalise the review of the Environment Regulations, including any agreed amendments by the end of 2013.
See Related documents below.
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- Environmental approvals processes
- Under the EPBC Act, any proposed mining or petroleum exploration or development activity is first subject to assessment and approval processes.
- Permits and Commonwealth Reserve Approvals
- When seeking environmental approval to undertake a mining or petroleum activity, there are some instances where a general environmental approval or clearance under the EPBC Act does not completely cover an activity. In such instances, an additional permit or approval is required.
For more information about Australia's offshore petroleum environment contact:
Environmental Regulations Review
Environment Safety and Security
Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
GPO Box 1564
CANBERRA ACT 2601