2015 EPBC Act Streamlining Review

In 2015, an independent review of NOPSEMA’s compliance with the environmental management authorisation process (the Program) endorsed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) determined that NOPSEMA is meeting all of its commitments under the Program.

The Minister for the Environment endorsed NOPSEMA’s environmental authorisation process (the Program) in February 2014 under the strategic assessment provisions of the EPBC Act. The endorsement provided for EPBC Act approval of petroleum activities authorised under NOPSEMA’s process.

The endorsed Program included a commitment to a periodic independent review of NOPSEMA’s compliance with the Program. The first review, initiated following 12 months of operation of the Program, commenced in April 2015.

Environmental Resources Management Australia (ERM) was commissioned to conduct the review under terms of reference agreed by the Department of Industry and Science, the Department of Environment and NOPSEMA. The scope of the review considered NOPSEMA’s performance in meeting the Program objectives, including ensuring that impacts on matters protected under Part 3 of the EPBC Act are not unacceptable.

The review found that NOPSEMA met all commitments under the Program, which were triggered during the review period, and that the required processes and procedures are in place for the Program commitments to continue to be met in the future. As such, the reviewer concluded that no formal recommendations or modification of management arrangements were required.

The review identified a range of opportunities for improvement, which NOPSEMA has accepted and is implementing. These are included in the Program Review Report – NOPSEMA Response to observations and improvements.

On 4 September 2015, the Minister for the Environment’s delegate endorsed the EPBC Act Streamlining Review Report.

The next review of the Program will be conducted in 2020.