- Protection of public health, water supplies and environment top priorities
- Nine agencies to monitor and regulate shale and tight gas industry
Stringent regulations to protect public health, water supplies and the environment are highlighted in a new nine-agency framework to govern gas industry development.
Releasing the comprehensive 'Guide to the Regulatory Framework for Shale and Tight Gas in Western Australia' in State Parliament today, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the document would guide and benefit communities and the petroleum industry.
"This is a clear and concise road map for the future," Mr Marmion said.
"Community members and landholders can have confidence that WA has world-leading regulation that respects people's rights and protects our State's most valuable assets.
"From rules for well management and environment plans, to requirements for consultation and landowner compensation, this details our innovative, cross-agency approach."
The framework outlines the Department of Mines and Petroleum's lead agency role in petroleum regulation, underpinned by agreements with the departments of Health and Water, and Memorandums of Understanding with the Environmental Protection Authority and the departments of Planning and Aboriginal Affairs.
The framework rests on five key principles: Transparent, risk-based regulation; a whole-of-government approach; consistent State and Australian government objectives; effective engagement with stakeholders, particularly local communities; and compliance and enforcement.
The framework is supported by new regulations mandating stringent well and environment management plans and baseline water monitoring.
"The State Government has strengthened regulations to ensure best practices are implemented, in line with community expectations," the Minister said.
"We will continue to keep stakeholders informed through transparent, timely and accessible information, in a manner that encourages trust and respect. I am confident West Australians will benefit from the gas industry and the jobs and local community opportunities it will bring."
- The framework is endorsed by the departments of Mines and Petroleum, Environment Regulation, Parks and Wildlife, Water, Health, Aboriginal Affairs and Planning, the Environmental Protection Authority and the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority
- It outlines land access rules, water and air quality protection, well integrity standards and hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure, including the prevention of chemical use posing unacceptable risks to public health, water supplies and/or the environment
- The amount of water used to hydraulically fracture a large horizontal well is about 21 million litres, equivalent to the amount used to irrigate one hectare of farmland for a year or supply water to 40 households for a year
- Up to 70% of hydraulic fracturing water is recovered for re-use
- The framework is available at http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au
Minister's office - 6552 6800