New regulations are now in effect in WA to govern the petroleum and geothermal industries.
The Department of Mining and Petroleum (DMP) announced the changes would ensure WA has stringent well integrity and resource management conditions.
DMP executive director of petroleum Jeff Haworth said that although the shale and tight rock gas industry was years away from commercial production, it was important to ensure robust regulations were in place.
“The State Government understands community concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing and strengthening regulations and ensuring best practices are implemented is critical to addressing these concerns,” he said.
“The department will ensure any future projects are assessed on a site-by-site, project-by-project basis with safety and environment auditors conducting inspections to check compliance with safety and environmental standards.
“As part of the approvals process, companies are legally required to provide an environment plan that assesses the potential impacts on groundwater, as well as flora and fauna.
“All companies are required to submit a list of all chemicals to be used in all well operations.
Haworth said WA is the only jurisdiction in Australia requiring full public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional gas exploration and production practices.
With the new regulations now in place DMP is confident it can strictly regulate a shale and tight gas industry without compromising the environment or safety to successfully maximise possible future economic opportunities for all Western Australians,” he said.