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Australia – Amendments To Offshore Environment Regulations.

2 December, 2013

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Australia – Energy & Project Finance

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 

  • On 6 December 2013, the Department of Industry proposes to release draft amendments to the OPGGS(E) Regulations for public comment.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

 

  • Offshore industry participants should review the draft regulations when they are released, consider how they will affect current and proposed petroleum activities and consider making a submission to the Department.
  • Specifically, proponents should consider whether the draft amendments adequately address any of the issues identified in our first two articles.

The Department has indicated on its website that it intends to finalise amendments to the Environment Regulations by February 2014. That timeframe aligns with the Australian Government’s strategic assessment timeframe and the objective to have the Environment Minister endorse the Program and approve classes of actions taken in accordance with that Program by the end of February 2014. As a result, we anticipate there will be a tight window of opportunity for public comment on the draft amendments.


We anticipate that the draft amendments will:

 

  • provide for a more extensive definition of the scope of “petroleum activities” regulated under the Environment Regulations.
  • clarify the draft regulations released on 9 October 2013 which are intended to introduce requirements under the Environment Regulations to demonstrate compliance with the financial assurance duty under the Offshore Petroleum Act.
  • include amendments to the Environment Regulations that are required to give effect to the Program the subject of the Commonwealth’s strategic assessment under the EPBC Act before the Program is endorsed by the Environment Minister.

The draft amendments may also address some of the other issues originally raised in the December 2012 Issues Paper prepared by the then Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism as part of the Department’s comprehensive review of the Environment Regulations.

 

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For further information, please contact:

 

Katie Winterbourne, Partner, Ashurst
[email protected]


Shane Bosma, Ashurst

[email protected]


Claire Woodland, Ashurst

[email protected]


Cheyne Jansen, Ashurst

[email protected]

 

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