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

The Resource and Environmental Compliance 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 disturb the ground with mechanised equipment to explore or prospect for minerals.
  • Mining proposals – submitted by a company for a proposed mining operation, or for a change to a mining operation. All mining proposals must include a mine closure plan.
  • Mine closure plans – reviewed and re-submitted by a company 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 on the website.

Regulatory framework for uranium

DMIRS is the primary State Government agency responsible for regulating the uranium mining industry in WA.  More information can be found on the website.

Contact

Phone: +61 8 9222 3204

 

Policies

Consideration of Aboriginal heritage matters - April 2012 - 233 Kb

Aboriginal heritage matters in assessments.

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)

Administrative Agreement between DMIRS and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) - minerals and mining - January 2016 - 2997 Kb

Administration Agreement between DMIRS (formerly Department of Mines and Petroleum) and DWER (formerly Department of Water) for mineral exploration and mining operations in water resource areas of Western Australia.

Operations protocol between DMIRS and Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI) - February 2015 - 2499 Kb

Operations protocol between DMIRS (formerly Department of Mines and Petroleum) and JTSI (formerly Department of State Development).

Administrative Agreement between DMIRS and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) – petroleum and geothermal - August 2015 - 3769 Kb

Administration Agreement between DMIRS (formerly Department of Mines and Petroleum) and DWER (formerly Department of Water) for onshore petroleum and geothermal activities in Western Australia.

Administrative Agreement between DMIRS and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) - April 2011 - 918 Kb

Administrative Agreement between DMIRS (formerly Department of Mines and Petroleum) and DWER (formerly Department of Environment and Conservation) regarding the delegation for DMIRS to undertake clearing permit assessments.

Memorandum of Understanding between DMIRS and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) - February 2016 - 2360 Kb

Memorandum of Understanding between DMIRS (formerly Department of Mines and Petroleum) and DWER (formerly Office of Environmental Protection Authority) in relation to the referral of mineral and petroleum (onshore and offshore) and geothermal proposals.