NOPSEMA publishes new OPP decision making guidelines and revised EP decision making guidelines
NOPSEMA has published new Offshore Project Proposal (OPP) Decision Making Guideline and revised the Environment Plan (EP) Decision Making Guideline in order to provide clarity and transparency around what NOPSEMA takes into consideration when making decisions in accordance with the legislated criteria relevant to OPP and EP decisions. The DMGs were prepared and updated to address feedback NOPSEMA has received from NOPSEMA’s Community and Environment Reference Group and other stakeholders seeking greater understanding and clarity around NOPSEMA decision making.
The new OPP Decision Making Guidelines communicate key factors that influence NOPSEMA’s decision making in relation to decision making criteria for:
- suitability of an OPP for publication (Regulation 5(C)(2)) (‘Stage 1’ of the OPP assessment process); and
- whether to accept or refuse to accept an OPP (Regulation 5(D)(6)) (‘Stage 2’ of the OPP assessment process).
The revised EP Decision Making Guidelines include guidance on what decision makers will consider under each acceptance criteria under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009. It also includes information on financial assurance, principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) and NOPSEMA’s commitments under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Although the look and feel of the EP Decision Making Guidelines has changed, the way that NOPSEMA decision makers make decisions has not changed. The new DMG’s simply provide more clarity around decision making to assist titleholders in putting together Environment Plans and ensuring the environment is protected.
The Guidelines can be considered by proponents and stakeholders to understand NOPSEMA’s regulatory decision making and should be read in conjunction with the Environment Regulations, NOPSEMA’s published policies and NOPSEMA’s EP content requirements guidance note (GN1344) and OPP content requirements guidance note (GN1663).