Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
As part of the ongoing reforms introduced by the
Environmental Protection (Greentape Reduction) and Other
Legislation Amendment Act 2012 (the Greentape
Reduction Act), the Queensland Government has introduced
further changes to the Environmental Protection Regulations
2008 (the EP Regulations) to standardise
financial assurances for ERAs and streamline assessment of low risk
The Environmental Protection Amendment Regulation (No. 1)
2013 implements the following changes:
Introduction of the Financial Assurance under the
Environmental Protection Act 1994 Guidelines (the
Guidelines) which is intended to outline when financial
assurance is to be required for resource activities and some
prescribed ERAs, the amount and form of financial assurance and how
the requirement can be discharged; and
Introduction of Eligibility Criteria for petroleum activities
to operate under Standard Conditions developed by the Department of
Environmental and Heritage Protection (DEHP).
The holder of an environmental authority (EA)
for resource activities must pay financial assurance to the
administering authority to take account of the potential cost of
taking action to prevent or minimise environmental harm or to
rehabilitate the environment, should the holder fail to meet their
environmental obligations under the EA.
Financial assurance may also be required for some prescribed
The requirement to provide financial assurance is included as a
condition of an EA.
The amount of financial assurance required is based on the risk
of environmental harm, the likelihood that rehabilitation or
restoration will be required once the activity ceases and the
environmental record of the person carrying out the activity.
The new Guidelines are intended to more clearly outline the
circumstances in which financial assurance may be required and set
criteria to be used to determine the amount and form of financial
Eligibility Criteria and Standard Conditions for petroleum
The reforms under the Greentape Reduction Act provide for the
introduction of Eligibility Criteria and Standard Conditions by
DEHP for certain activities. Where an operator is able to verify
that the activity will meet the Eligibility Criteria and Standard
Conditions, the Standard Conditions will automatically apply
without the need for an assessment of the proposed activity
DEHP have introduced Eligibility Criteria and Standard
Conditions for petroleum activities. Where the Eligibility Criteria
is met, but one or more of the Standard Conditions require
variation, an application to vary the Standard Conditions can be
made to DEHP (Variation Application). The
assessment of a Variation Application is limited to the change
being sought, and does not require any public notification.
Activities that do not meet the Eligibility Criteria require an
application to be made which will be subject to a full assessment
by DEHP, public notification and submission processes (Site
It is intended that the Eligibility Criteria and Standard
Conditions for petroleum activities will reduce the regulatory
burden and associated costs on the petroleum industry and the
Release of Eligibility Criteria and Standard Conditions for
Public consultation for Eligibility Criteria and Standard
Conditions yet to be released for ERAs other than resource
activities is intended to occur over the coming months.
We encourage industry to consider and make submissions regarding
relevant Eligibility Criteria and Standard Conditions before they
are formally adopted by DEHP.
We will provide further updates regarding draft Eligibility
Criteria and Standard Conditions as they are released.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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