Examples illustrating how advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (IESC) has been applied in setting project conditions.
There are a number of assessments where IESC advice has been crucial in setting project conditions, for example:
- Centennial Coal, Springvale Coal Mine (NSW): The Commonwealth’s approval decision reflected the iIESC’s advice in relation to avoidance of mining directly under “high quality swamps” and buffer zones unless the proponent demonstrated (by a report) that this could be carried out without severe impacts of subsidence on the swamps (or such impacts could be successfully remediated).
- Dart Energy (NSW): The Commonwealth required the proponent to provide additional groundwater monitoring for its Exploration Project at Fullerton Cove. This additional monitoring would assist in the Regional Groundwater Assessment for this area and formed part of the “particular manner” attached to this project to avoid and mitigate potential impacts to matters of national environmental significance.
- Middlemount Coal (Qld): The IESC’s advice raised issues with the monitoring of cumulative impacts to the quality of surface and groundwater, lack of details regarding the design of the diversion of Roper Creek and the assessment of regional cumulative impacts. In response to that information the State prescribed conditions for the proponent to develop a water monitoring plan. The Commonwealth prescribed conditions for the proponent to prepare a plan to ensure that the water quality could be adaptively managed. The proponent’s Offset Management Plan required by the Commonwealth will increase the protected habitat of two vulnerable animal species and one endangered ecological community over 3,280 hectares. The habitat will be secured through a binding conservation mechanism. These offsets represent a considerable environmental gain for these species.