Environmental Law



Environmental Law

Contact: James Plumb, Partner and Duncan Lomas, Solicitor; Carter Newell (Queensland, Australia)

The Mineral and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (Bill) was introduced into Queensland State Parliament on 23 February 2016. Amongst other matters, the Bill gives effect to the Queensland Government’s election promise to reinstate various public notification requirements and community objection rights to proposed mining projects.

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Contact: Kelly Pain, Senior Associate; Carter Newell (Queensland, Australia)

In a bid to relieve the increasing pressure on Queensland explorers, the Queensland State Government will allow a concession on exploration commitments over the next two years.

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Contact: James Plumb, Partner and Duncan Lomas, Solicitor 

A recent Qld Supreme Court decision examines the rejection of an application for an exploration permit under the MRA on the basis that the targeted resource is actually an unconventional petroleum resource.

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Important amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) (EP Act), made by the Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 (Qld) (EPTLA Act) as part of the Newman Government’s ‘Greentape Reduction Project’, came into force on 30 September 2015.

One of those changes is the introduction of a new way in which the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) can seek to enforce the EP Act – by entry into an ‘enforceable undertaking’.

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Contact: Channing J. Martin; Williams Mullen (North Carolina & Virginia, USA)

In a significant setback for the Obama Administration, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has temporarily blocked implementation of the Clean Water Rule issued jointly by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last June.  The rule defined “Waters of the United States” and was designed to put to rest years of controversy about the extent of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act over wetlands and other waters.  That didn’t happen.  Within weeks of its issuance, over 70 parties – including 31 states – filed suit to overturn the rule.  Three federal judges in different states were petitioned to temporarily block it while it was challenged in court.  Only one of the three – a federal judge in North Dakota – granted an injunction.  His order – issued on August 27, just one day before the effective date – blocked the rule from taking effect in 13 western states.  Undeterred, EPA issued a press release the next day saying it would enforce the rule in the rest of the country. 

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