Revised Low-Impact Activity Framework published

A draft policy position paper will be used to shape ongoing stakeholder consultation for Low-Impact prospecting and exploration regulations
Date: Monday, 18 January 2016

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has published its revised approach to assessing low impact prospecting and exploration activities.

Under the plans a new Low-Impact Activity Framework will be introduced enabling activities that are considered to have a low environmental impact to be authorised through an automated system instead of individual assessment.

The initiative is part of DMP’s Reforming Environmental Regulation (RER) program and is one of a number of amendments to the Mining Act 1978 which are currently being considered by the Western Australian Parliament.

Executive Director Environment Dr Phil Gorey said the recently revised criteria had been created following extensive consultation with stakeholders.

“A key aspect of DMP’s RER initiative is to provide a framework for low impact authorised activities relating to prospecting and exploration,” Dr Gorey said.

“DMP recognises that many ‘low-risk’ prospecting or exploration activities do not need to be subject to an individual environmental assessment and that these proposed changes would bring significant benefits to industry.

“Stakeholders including businesses, industry representatives, regulatory agencies, professionals and other interested parties have been involved in the development of this proposal and will continue to play an important role.”

Following extensive consultation on the proposed draft Low-Impact Activity Framework last year, DMP has now published a Response to Submissions document along with a draft Low-Impact Activity policy position paper.

The draft policy position paper will now be used to inform ongoing consultation as the Department prepares regulations after the Mining Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 is passed through the Legislative Council.

A further public comment period will then be held on the drafted regulations before they are finalised. Keep an eye on the new Consultation section on DMP’s website for the latest news on the Low-Impact Activity framework.