Ticking the Box: Flaws in the Environmental Assessment of Coal Seam Gas Exploration Activities

Ticking the Box: Flaws in the Environmental Assessment of Coal Seam Gas Exploration Activities

The coal seam gas (CSG) industry in NSW is expanding rapidly. At the same time, the community is becoming increasingly concerned that the legal regime that regulates the exploration and extraction of coal seam gas does not ensure a thorough environmental assessment of such activities.

This publication argues that the legal process applying to CSG exploration lacks independence and rigour in terms of the assessment of potential environmental impacts. As a result, the Reviews of Environmental Factors (REFs) provided to comply with this process are of poor quality, and often constitute a fairly generic lists of impacts.

The publication outlines the nature of the problem illustrates, through some case studies, the deficiencies in the legal process. In light of these problems, legal reform to the assessment of CSG exploration is necessary.

14 Nov 2011 - Download PDF