The Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (IESC) is seeking comment on its draft Information Guidelines Explanatory Note: Using impact pathway diagrams based on ecohydrological conceptualisation in environmental impact assessment.
The IESC is a statutory body under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth). One of the IESC’s key legislative functions is to provide independent scientific advice to the Australian Government Environment Minister and relevant state ministers in relation to coal seam gas (CSG) and large coal mining (LCM) development proposals that are likely to have a significant impact on water resources.
The EPBC Act lists “a water resource, in relation to coal seam gas development and large coal mining development” as a matter of national environmental significance. A water resource is defined under the Water Act 2007 (Cth). It covers surface water or groundwater or a watercourse, lake, wetland or aquifer (whether or not it currently has water in it) and includes all aspects of the water resource (including water, organisms and other components and ecosystems that contribute to the physical state and environmental value of the water resource). As such, environmental assessments for proposed CSG and LCM developments are required to consider the effects that a proposed development may have on water resources.
The draft Explanatory Note promotes the use of impact pathway diagrams based on ecohydrological conceptualisation as part of an environmental assessment to identify sources of impacts, impact propagation pathways and potential receptors associated with LCM or CSG developments.
Explanatory Notes provide guidance rather than mandatory requirements and proponents are encouraged to refer to issues of relevance to their particular project.
Invitation to comment
The IESC welcomes feedback on the content, usability and applicability. In particular, views are sought on:
- the content of the Explanatory Note, particularly any areas where further explanation would be useful;
- the relevance to your specific area of work; and
- potential options to increase uptake and adoption.
The IESC welcomes submissions from interested organisations and the public.
How can I get involved?
The draft Information Guidelines Explanatory Note: Using impact pathway diagrams based on ecohydrological conceptualisation in environmental impact assessment is open for public consultation until 5.00pm (AEDT), Friday 27 October 2023.
Read the document:
Complete a coversheet
Submissions must include a completed cover sheet. Please attach the cover sheet with your submission.
Send in your submission
Submissions should be sent electronically, preferably in Microsoft Word or other text-based formats, to the email address listed below.
Submissions are due by 5.00pm (AEDT), Friday 27 October 2023. Any submissions received after this date will be considered at the IESC’s discretion.