The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has
released the first stage of its proposed Integrated Mining Policy
(IMP), which will reform the assessment, determination and
regulation of State Significant mining developments. The IMP is
intended to improve transparency, consistency and accountability
for assessment decisions relating to State Significant mining
It will apply to all State Significant mining developments,
including coal and mineral mines. It will not apply to petroleum
operations, coal seam gas proposals or exploration activities.
Consultation with the community and industry regarding the IMP
will occur in two stages.
The first consultation stage commenced on 28 May 2015 with the
release of the:
Mine Application Guidelines;
Standardised Secretary's Environmental Assessment
Requirements (SEARs); and
Swamp Offsets Policy.
(together, the Stage One Documents)
The second consultation stage is anticipated to occur in the
coming months and will involve exhibiting the remaining Integrated
Mining Policy documents.
THE STAGE ONE DOCUMENTS
The Mine Application Guidelines set out the requirements for the
environmental assessment documents to be submitted by a proponent
for State Significant mining development, being the:
preliminary environmental assessment (PEA);
environmental impact statement (EIS).
Standardised SEARs, issued in response to a proponent's PEA,
will allow proponents of State Significant mining projects to have
a project's development application, environment protection
licence and mining lease assessed at the same time, as part of the
EIS prepared for the project.
The standardised SEARS may, in some circumstances, be modified
to meet project specific requirements.
The Swamp Offset Policy addresses the calculation and provision
of offsets for subsidence impacts of long wall coal mining on
upland swaps and associated threatened species. It provides an
extension of the framework outlined in the NSW Biodiversity
Offsets Policy for Major Projects (Offsets Policy).
HAVE YOUR SAY
The Stage One Documents are available for review and comment
here until 9 July 2015.
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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