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New environmental guidelines for coal seam gas

New environmental guidelines released by the Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Stephen Robertson, provide the necessary framework for achieving the best environmental outcomes from the development of coal seam gas (CSG) projects, according to Australia’s peak body representing gas producers.

The Queensland Government also announced initial details of a new CSG groundwater framework clarifying roles and responsibilities for the management of any groundwater impacts. The industry is working to minimise the impacts on groundwater from CSG production, and these efforts will be enhanced by the establishment of a new independent authority and CSG groundwater unit within the Queensland Water Commission.

According to Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) Queensland Director, Matthew Paull, the guidelines were released following a comprehensive consultation process by the Government with community and industry stakeholders. All CSG to LNG proponents have produced detailed environmental impact statements and these are currently being assessed by Queensland’s Coordinator-General. Following this assessment, proponents will be required to develop and submit environmental management plans in accordance with the new guidelines.

“These are long term projects that require significant financial investment and the industry is absolutely committed to ensuring that every aspect of the design and planning comprehensively considers any potential environmental impact and puts in place appropriate management processes,” said Paull.

“The proposed projects will be built with proven technology that will see Queensland become the world’s first exporter of LNG produced from CSG. The benefits for Australia include the creation of thousands of new jobs, particularly in regional Queensland, as well as significant government revenue. Importantly these projects will also play a major role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

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