Changes to environment and planning regulations for coal and gas in the central west
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Changes to Environment and Planning Regulations for Coal and Gas in the Central West. Mudgee Mining Conference Jenni Mattila 20 March 2012. Overview. Part 1 : Strategic Regional Land Use Policy Part 2 :Aquifer Interference Policy Part 3 :Coal Seam Gas Code of Practice.

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Changes to Environment and Planning Regulations for Coal and Gas in the Central West

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Changes to Environment and Planning Regulations for Coal and Gas in the Central West

Mudgee Mining Conference

JenniMattila

20 March 2012


Overview

  • Part 1:Strategic Regional Land Use Policy

  • Part 2:Aquifer Interference Policy

  • Part 3:Coal Seam Gas Code of Practice


Part 1:Strategic Regional Land Use Policy

  • February 2011 - Strategic Regional Land Use Policy part of the O’Farrell Government pre-election commitments

  • 23 May 2011 – formal announcement

  • 6 March 2012 – Draft Regional Strategic Land Use Policy for

    • Upper Hunter

    • New England North West

    • Draft Coal Seam Gas Code of Practice

    • Aquifer Interference Policy

  • 3 May 2012 – Consultation closes


Key initiative – Regional Strategic Plans

  • 4 priority plans:

    • Upper Hunter

    • New England/Northwest

    • Central West

    • Southern Highlands


State Environmental Planning Policy

  • Released 17 August 2011 for public consultation

  • Repeals Part 3A of the EPA Act, inserts a new division in Part 4

  • SEPP outlines classes of development which will be state significant development (SSD), including:

    • Mining in an environmentally sensitive area

    • Mining with capital investment > $30M

    • Mining related works with capital investment > $30M

    • Metal, mineral and extractive material processing with capital investment > $30M


Developing Strategic Regional Land Use Plans:

  • Public consultation requirement on release of Draft Plans

  • Agricultural Impact Statements in the interim

  • Establishment of Independent Scientific Panel - “Gateway Panel”


Key Changes

  • Strategic Agricultural Land (on or in 2 kms)

    • “Gateway” - Review of mining or drilling proposal by Independent Scientific Panel prior to Development Application

    • 21 days Public Exhibition with submission from stakeholders

  • Two types of Strategic Agricultural land:

    • Biophysical Strategic Agricultural Land

    • Critical Industry Clusters

  • Approval by Gateway Panel:

    • No appeal from Gateway Panel

    • Receive a Gateway Certificate

    • Lodge a Development Application and proceed to full merit assessment


Central West Strategic Regional Land Planning

  • Until Central West Plan released and finalised must lodge an Agricultural Impact Statement

  • Agricultural Impact Statement must cover impact on:

    • Support services

    • Critical mass thresholds

    • Movement of water away from agriculture

    • Visual amenity

    • Landscape values

    • tourism


Part 2:Aquifer Interference Policy

  • Gateway Panel must consider:

    • Impacts of aquifer interference

    • Potential for leakage from adjacent water sources due to depressurisation

    • Aquifer compaction

    • Loss of storage

    • Creation or enhancement of hydrolytic connection within or between the water sources:

      • Potential for loss of flow or pressure

      • Cross contamination

      • Change to ambient water quality

  • If Gateway Panel approves the application it is exempt for the requirement for an aquifer interference approval under the Water Management Act


Part 3:Coal Seam Gas Code of Practice

  • The draft Code of Practice for:

    • Mandatory standards of community consultation during the exploration phase

    • Ongoing landowner contact

    • Wider consultation with relevant stakeholders

  • Also covers:

    • Conduct of staff and sub-contractors on site

    • Treatment and disposal of waster water


Questions

Jenni MattilaPrincipal

[email protected]

Ph: (02) 9252 7177


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