In case you missed news of this development over the Christmas break, all gas activities in NSW will now require an environment protection licence from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
The change came on the back of the commencement of the Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (NSW Gas Plan) Regulation 2014 on 19 December 2014.
NSW EPA Chief Environment Regulator Mark Gifford said the Regulation amends the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009.
“The NSW Government announced an expanded compliance role for the EPA in November 2014 as one of the key measures in the NSW Gas Plan. All gas exploration, assessment and production activities, including conventional gas, coal seam gas, tight gas and shale gas are now required to hold an environment protection licence issued by the EPA.
“An environment protection licence contains legally enforceable site specific conditions, which holders must comply with in order to prevent and minimise pollution, and safeguard the environment. This regulatory change gives the EPA direct regulatory oversight of gas activities and ensures effective, consistent and transparent regulation of the gas industry.”