As expected, the Federal Government has approved the Narrabri Gas Project subject to a number of conditions.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley approved the project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Approval conditions to protect water resources include:
- An early-warning system that includes ongoing bore-monitoring and modelling to identify any potential impacts on groundwater aquifers before they occur.
- Binding protocols identifying corrective actions, and cease-work provisions at gas wells where a groundwater exceedance is predicted.
- A robust chemical risk assessment framework to protect the environment and water resources during coal seam gas operations (no fracking is required or proposed for gas extraction).
- Santos will also establish a Community Benefit Fund of up to $120 million to share the ongoing benefit of the project with the Narrabri community.
Details of the approval are available on the department website at: http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/_entity/annotation/b4110561-152e-eb11-82c9-00505684324c/a71d58ad-4cba-48b6-8dab-f3091fc31cd5?t=1606195949773