Environmental regulation

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) is responsible for ensuring the responsible development of Western Australia's (WA) mineral, petroleum and geothermal resources. This includes regulating industry to ensure environmental compliance and implementation of best practice environmental management.

DMIRS Environment Division assesses mineral, petroleum and geothermal exploration and development applications made within WA. The Environment Division also conducts environmental compliance audits and inspections to ensure approved activities comply with legislation, regulations, policies and approval commitments and conditions.

The Environment Division has an ISO9001 certified quality management system and an 'Environmental Regulatory Strategy' to ensure that resource industry activities are designed, operated, closed, decommissioned and rehabilitated in an ecologically sustainable manner, consistent with agreed environmental outcomes and end land uses without unacceptable liability to the State.

Environmental approvals

Environmental approvals for mining activities are granted in accordance with the Mining Act 1978 and include:

  • Programmes of work – submitted when a company or prospector wants to explore for minerals, usually on a small scale.
  • Mining proposals – submitted by a company for a proposed mining operation and accompanied by a mining lease application.
  • Mine closure plans – submitted by a company associated with a mining proposal and covering all aspects of mine decommissioning and rehabilitation.

Environmental approvals for petroleum and/or geothermal activities are granted in accordance with the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Environment) Regulations 2012, the Petroleum Pipelines (Environment) Regulations 2012, and/or the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations 2012 and include:

  • Environment plans – submitted by a company for proposed petroleum and/or geothermal activities (including wells, facilities, pipelines and surveys).
  • Oil spill contingency plans – submitted by a company as part of an environment plan outlining the emergency response structure, strategy, and arrangements in the event of a spill incident.

In conjunction with the above approvals, a native vegetation clearing permit may be required. These may be granted by DMIRS under delegation from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 and the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004.

Regulatory framework for shale and tight gas

DMIRS is the primary State Government agency responsible for regulating shale and tight gas activities, which includes hydraulic fracturing. More information can be found in the Guide to the Regulatory Framework for Shale and Tight Gas in Western Australia.

Regulatory framework for uranium

DMIRS is the primary State Government agency responsible for regulating the uranium mining industry in WA. Not only do stringent State and Federal regulations apply, but the uranium sector is also subject to rigorous international standards and regulations. More information can be found in the Guide to Uranium in Western Australia.

Policies

WA Environmental Offsets Policy - 2011 - 60 Kb

The WA Government’s Environmental Offsets Policy seeks to protect and conserve environmental and biodiversity values for present and future generations. This policy ensures that economic and social development may occur while supporting long term values.

Administrative Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoU)

Operations protocol between Department of Mines and Petroleum and Department of State Development - February 2015 - 2499 Kb

Operations protocol between the Department of Mines and Petroleum and the Department of State Development

Administrative Agreement between the Department of Mines and Petroleum and Department of Water – petroleum and geothermal - August 2015 - 3769 Kb

Administration Agreement between the Department of Mines and Petroleum and the Department of Water for onshore petroleum and geothermal activities in Western Australia.

Administrative Agreement between Department of Environment and Conservation and Department of Mines and Petroleum - April 2011 - 918 Kb

Administrative Agreement between the Department of Parks and Wildlife (formerly the Department of Environment and Conservation) and the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

Memorandum of Understanding between DMP and OEPA - February 2016 - 2399 Kb

Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Mines and Petroleum and the Office of Environmental Protection Authority in relation to the referral of Mineral and Petroleum (Onshore and Offshore) and Geothermal Proposals

Radiological Council Memorandum Of Understanding - November 2005 - 151 Kb

Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Mines and Petroleum (formerly the Department of Industry and Resources) and the Radiological Council in relation to the regulation of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials.