Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Environment protection licences

Planning and approval

The gas industry’s activities relate to natural gas, coal seam gas and tight gas. Currently the NSW gas industry is largely focused on exploration and appraisal activities and there is one coal seam gas production activity.

Agencies involved in gas planning

  • The Office of Coal Seam Gas (OCSG) within the NSW Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development is the determining authority for gas exploration applications in NSW. This includes assessing applications for exploration activities, administering petroleum titles, and matters to do with workplace health and safety.
  • The Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) is responsible for assessing development applications for major gas projects, delivering the Strategic Regional Land Use Policy, establishing gas exclusion zones and resourcing the Mining and Petroleum Gateway Panel.
  • The NSW Office of Water (NOW) is responsible for the management of the State's surface water and groundwater resources, and assesses the potential impacts of a gas proposal on water resources, their dependent ecosystems, culturally significant sites and existing water users.
  • In addition, the NSW Government has established the position of Land and Water Commissioner . The Commissioner provides guidance to landholders, industry and the community about exploration activities on strategic agricultural land throughout the State.

Role of the EPA

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is the lead regulator of gas activities.

The EPA is not a consent authority for gas activities in NSW and does not determine if gas activities will be approved. The EPA, Office of Environment and Heritage and other relevant NSW Government agencies provide expert advice to DP&E and OCSG on gas applications when advice is sought.

Information about gas proposals

  • The DIGs website provides information on gas applications and submissions administered by the NSW Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development.
  • The Planning and Environment website provides information on major gas development proposals administered by the Department of Planning and Environment.
Page last updated: 30 June 2015