Single Region-Wide Approach to Oil and Gas Consent Applications

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Taranaki's three district councils are working towards a consistent approach to managing the oil and gas industry under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

The unified effort of the South Taranaki, Stratford and New Plymouth district councils will result in a clearer rules and consent process for oil and gas operations.

SDC Director Environmental Services Liam Dagg says the regulatory area around hazardous substances is complicated, involving the RMA, the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO), and onshore oil and gas health and safety regulations.

"Councils manage the RMA requirements and other agencies manage HSNO and health and safety, but there has been unintended cross-over between them which has made the resource consent process unduly complicated," says Mr Dagg.

"To resolve this, the three district councils commissioned a report from international risk management specialists to define the RMA's role in the national regulatory framework that applies to oil and gas activities in Taranaki."

The three district councils will apply the report's technical advice to their resource consent processes and also to their District Plans when they are next reviewed.

The report, Hazardous Substances Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Industry Profile, is now available here.