Environment Management Plan for onshore gas exploration drilling open for public comment

Issued 29 May 2019

The first Environment Management Plan (EMP) for exploration drilling of onshore shale gas in the Northern Territory has been accepted for assessment by the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources.

The EMP has been submitted by Santos and covers two proposed wells in the Beetaloo Subbasin.

The EMP is an activity specific plan that must identify all environmental impacts, and demonstrate that the impacts and risks associated with the activity are reduced to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable. The EMP must also show how appropriate environmental management practices will be implemented.

The Minister will consider the EMP and will only approve the activity if satisfied that the objectives and approval criteria of the Petroleum (Environment) Regulations 2016 have been met.

The proposed Santos drilling program opened for public comment today and will remain open for the full 28 day consultation period. All submissions will be shared with Santos and published online.

Comments will be considered by the Minister in order to make a fully informed decision as to whether or not to approve the EMP. If an EMP is approved, it will be published on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources website, including a statement of reasons outlining why the decision was made.