Release of equinor's environment plan for public comment
From today the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is accepting comments from the public on the proposed environment plan by Equinor for their planned drilling activity in the Great Australian Bight.
Comments can be made for the next 30 days and can be submitted directly to NOPSEMA via a dedicated submission portal on NOPSEMA's website. The environment plan is available from Equinor's website.
NOPSEMA encourages all interested persons to make submissions on the proposed environment plan.
All comments submitted will be provided to Equinor, who will prepare a report detailing how they have considered comments received and identify amendments made to the environment plan as a result of comments.
This report and the amended environment plan will be published by Equinor on formal submission of the plan to NOPSEMA for assessment.
People who comment may remain anonymous to Equinor, however this may limit Equinor's capacity to address the issues raised in the comments.
NOPSEMA's official regulatory role does not commence until Equinor formally submits the environment plan for assessment. The timing of a formal submission is a matter for Equinor, and not set by NOPSEMA.
Equinor is voluntarily making its draft environment plan available to the public, as the environment regulations do not permit NOPSEMA to publish environment plans as part of the formal assessment.
In November 2017, Senator the Hon. Matt Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, announced reforms to the environment regulations, which Equinor will comply with, including the full publication of their environment plan and it being subject to a public comment period.
Equinor has agreed with the Australian Government to follow the full process as outlined in the exposure draft of the OPGGS (Environment) Amendment (Consultation and Transparency) Regulations 2018.
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is currently progressing the reforms and the new regulations are expected to be introduced later this year.
Equinor's environment plan can be accessed at: equinor.com.au/gabproject
NOPSEMA's comments submission portal can be accessed at: info.nopsema.gov.au
Nicholas Page, Manager – Communications & Stakeholder Relations
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- environmental management