Australia: Minister Orders Water Studies on CSG Projects
Environment Minister Greg Hunt said he has determined that 47 of the 50 large coal mine and coal seam gas developments currently being assessed under national environment law will require federal environmental assessment of their impacts on water resources.
It was quite astonishing to think the previous Labor Government in its dying days would grind industry to a halt by introducing this legislation only to leave them in limbo for months for someone else to make the decision, the minister remarked.
The assessment of each of these projects will include the project’s potential impacts on water resources in addition to the other matters protected under national environment law for which they were already being assessed.
“Once the assessment process is complete I will carefully consider each assessment, the advice of my department, and all public comments received before deciding whether these proposals can go ahead,” he stressed.
“For the three other projects, I have determined that the water trigger will not apply to one project, while I am seeking further information on two others,”.
“I have invited all proponents to comment on my decisions,” he said.
“We are not afraid to get on with the job and make decisions in a considered, methodical way while protecting the environment,” he concluded.
LNG World News Staff, September 27, 2013; Image: greghunt.com.au