Environment Minister Amy Adams said yesterday new guidelines for managing the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) would support the environmentally responsible development of resources.
Ms Adams said: “The environmental risks of onshore petroleum development, including hydraulic fracturing, can be effectively managed if best practice is followed. These guidelines provide clear direction so hydraulic fracturing is carried out in a robust, controlled & well regulated manner.”
She said the guidelines clarified the regulatory roles of central & local government for activities relating to fracking, and provided guidance to local government to appropriately manage the activity under the Resource Management Act. The guidelines cover the lifecycle of onshore petroleum wells, from initial seismic surveying through to decommissioning activities.
The guidelines follow the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright’s interim report, which evaluated the environmental impacts of fracking in New Zealand. Dr Wright is expected to release her final report this year.
The guidelines have been peer-reviewed by local & international resource management experts, and incorporate feedback from councils, non-government organisations, petroleum & primary industries, district health boards & iwi.
“As a result of consultation, the guidelines now include additional information on coal seam gas extraction, clarify the types of waste that land-farming may be an appropriate option for managing, and provide clarification that the guidelines apply to onshore activities.
“The guidelines are an important step to ensuring hydraulic fracturing is managed appropriately, and the Ministry for the Environment will be monitoring the effectiveness of the guidelines as they are implemented by councils over the next 12 months.
Link: Fracking guidelines
Attribution: Ministerial release.