NELA has welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communication into the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Amendment (Using New Technologies to Fight Climate Change) Bill 2023 (Bill).
This submission was made with respect to the proposed Bill amending the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 (Cth) (EPSD Act) aims grant permits for:
- the export of carbon dioxide, streams from carbon capture process for the purposes of storage in sub-seabed geological formations (i.e., carbon capture and storage); and
- placement of waste or other matter for a marine geoengineering activity for scientific research (e.g., ocean fertilisation).
NELA’s submission includes the following:
- current statutory requirements under the Bill to conduct envrionment assessment and scientific testing insufficent and should be strengthened to ensure impacts on the envrionments are mitigated to the greatest extent practicable;
- the Bill should expressly require an applicanyt for a permit consultation with First Nations Communities or Traditional Owners whose interests may be affected by the proposed activity;
- Bill should expressly recognise where the proposed activities would intergrate and interact with other legal frameworks, including Commonwealth, sstate and territory, anbd international laws. This would ensure the EPSD Act is fit for purpose and provide sufficient regulatory certainty; and
- severity of penalties that may be imposed under the EPSD Act should be increased as to ensure the EPSD Act provides sufficient deterrance for any action taken without a permit.
Read our full submission here.