Press release: OMV plans to drill 12 offshore wells non-notified

02/07/2018

OMV drilling map in discharge consent IA 2018

Climate Justice Taranaki wants the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to hold public hearings on OMV’s exploratory drilling consent application and jointly process it with all related applications.

OMV plans to drill 12 offshore wells across six licensed areas in the Taranaki Basin. Because the wells are of exploratory and appraisal nature, the marine consent application for the drilling will not be notified and there will be no opportunity for public submissions.

The EPA has however notified the public of OMV’s application to discharge harmful substances from the deck drains of a yet to be identified drilling rig. Public submissions close on the 9th July.

We are asking EPA to defer the processing of the discharge consent so that it can be assessed jointly with the drilling and other related applications.  It is impossible to assess the cumulative effects of all the drilling and discharge activities on the environment, marine species, human health and existing interests, if the applications are dealt with separately. The law requires consideration of cumulative effects and allows for joint processing of related applications,” said Catherine Cheung of Climate Justice Taranaki.

We are not talking about one of two wells. We are talking about the risks and potentially disastrous consequence from drilling 12 wells and from the discharge of undetermined quantities of undisclosed harmful substances at sea.  Only one of the 12 wells will be drilled in a known, producing field, the Maari,” Cheung emphasized.

International experience has demonstrated that there can be devastating environmental and socio-economic impacts across huge areas from exploratory drilling. New Zealand does not have sufficient on-site resources to cope rapidly with a major incident, which could impact much of the west coast of the North Island and the top of the South Island, encompassing globally significant marine mammal and seabird habitats,” said Dr Lyndon DeVantier of Climate Justice Taranaki.

The EEZ and Continental Shelf Act section 44 allows EPA to extend the time period to enable joint processing and decision-making of related applications. Section 50(2) and Schedule 2 allow EPA to conduct hearings of applications for non-notified activities in public, if it ‘considers it necessary or desirable’.  We certainly think it is necessary, given the scale and significance of the applications,” concluded Cheung.

Source of map: SLR Consulting, March 2018. OMV NZ Ltd. Marine Discharge Consent Application – Deck drainage, Taranaki Basin.

Media coverage:

No hearing for offshore wells, Waatea News, 2 July 2018

Climate Justice Taranaki seeks changes to oil and gas consent application process, Taranaki Daily News, 3 July 2018

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99% chance of oil over Marine Mammal Sanctuary if there’s a well blow-out

14/06/2018

Collage Tui Spill Time AnnexF MM sanctuary IA102

Both the South Taranaki shoreline and Marine Mammal Sanctuary had a 99% probability of being exposed to visible floating oil…” according to Tamarind’s modelling of a hypothetical 45-day subsea release of 356,780 bbl of Tui Crude, following a loss of well control at the Amokura-2H well over February to May.

Although Tamarind considers a major incident to be ‘unlikely’ or ‘extremely unlikely’, the consequence on the marine environment would be devastating if it happens. No marine sanctuary could protect our critically endangered Maui’s dolphin, Blue whale (now found to be genetically distinct), Sperm whale and other marine creatures from an oil spill.

Please spare a minute and tell EPA if you don’t want Tamarind to drill more oil wells and discharge harmful substances off the Taranaki coast. Here’s an on-line submission form we’ve prepared to help you do that, or you can go directly to EPA website. Submissions close on Monday 18 June 2018.

With increasing climate disruptions, aging infrastructure and the intensification of activities: more drilling, seismic surveys, fishing, maritime transport, potential seabed mining and other industries in and around the area, the likelihood of accidents and the resulting harm will escalate and become increasingly unmanageable.

Human activities globally have caused rapid changes in sea temperatures and ocean chemistry with cascading effects on foodwebs. Parts of the Tasman Sea have experienced extremely elevated sea temperatures over the past three summers, threatening marine foodwebs and fisheries.

Society’s addiction on fossil fuels for energy, transport, agriculture and luxury goods is risking our own life-support system.

Graphics from Tamarind Impact Assessment Annex F. Oil Spill Modeeling

Here’s CJT’s submission to EPA.

 

 

 


Fewer cows, cleaner water & safer climate

28/04/2017

Today we told the government what we think about its ‘Clean Water‘ document:

  • Rivers that are ‘suitable for swimming more than 80% of the time‘ are not swimmable
  • The shift of E.coli guideline to 540 per 100 mls is unacceptable
  • All rivers and lakes where communities use or seek to use for recreation should be included for improvement, not just ‘large’ ones
  • Residues of pesticides and hydrocarbons need to be included as additional attributes for determining ecological and human health risks of waterways
  • The life-supporting capacity of our waterways and the rights of communities and future generations to adequate and clean water must not be compromised by so-called economic arguments
  • National bottom lines for freshwater must not be breached because of polluting infrastructure
  • Support, not penalize, tangata whenua efforts in protecting the health of our waterways
  • Exclude stock from waterways, reduce stock number and halt further dairy conversion for the sake of clean water, ecosystem health and livable climate
  • Honour Te Mana o te Wai and invest in responsible and sustainable alternatives

Read our submission here with the case of the Waitara River.

Waitara warning signs combined April 2017 Janice Liddle

Photos courtesy of Friends of the Waitara River, April 2017

 


Oil and gas exploration and extraction are important to our social, economic and cultural well-being, says Taranaki Regional Council

17/11/2016

draft-coastal-plan-coverWe cannot accept this statement, can you?

While a few may benefit financially from the oil and gas industry, local communities surrounded by oil and gas drilling, fracking, extraction and deepwell injection suffer as future generations are being robbed of a benign climate to live in. Yet council wants recognition for the industry as a policy in the Draft Coastal Plan for Taranaki (Policy 5b, Rules 11, 25-29).

The Draft Plan also proposes to allow the continuation of sewage (Rules 6 & 7) and industrial (Rules 12 & 13) discharge into our marine environment, despite the risks to human and environmental health and breaches on Maori rights (Wai-6).

If you don’t agree with what’s in the draft plan, then tell council. Use council’s online feedback form. You have until Friday 18 November 2016. The plan and associated documents are here.

Read CJT’s feedback to council here.


CJT Spoke on Resource Legislation Amendment

26/05/2016

Flare Mangahewa E climate change collage

This morning, members from Climate Justice Taranaki spoke to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee on the government’s proposed Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. The four key points were:

  1. The effects on CLIMATE CHANGE must be at the heart of every resource management decision, if the goal is to truly manage natural resources sustainably and protect our natural environment. Currently, the RMA and EEZ Act prohibit councils and the EPA  from considering the effects of activities on climate change. CJT urge that these be amended, as the government has a legal obligation and duty of care to protect its citizens from climate change.
  2. The proposed Bill takes away councils’ function in preventing and mitigating any adverse effects of the storage, use, disposal or transportation of HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES. This is an extremely dangerous proposition as it eliminates what could protect local communities from  well blow-out, gas clouds and other harmful accidents associated with the fossil fuel and other heavy industries.
  3. Fracking is known to contaminate water, soil, cause serious health effects, induce earthquakes and exacerbates climate change. CJT urge for a nationwide ban on FRACKING and a halt on all fossil fuel exploration.
  4. The proposed Bill erodes ENVIRONMENTAL BOTTOM LINES, dis-empowers the public and threatens democratic processes when it should be strengthening environmental protection and ensuring resource sustainability and public rights in decision making.

Read the rest of this entry »


New MPA Act gives certainty to industries but not to future generations

09/03/2016
Poor knight reserve first light travel nzpam maps combined

Poor Knight Island Reserve from First Light Travel. Maps from NZPAM.

The new Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Act excludes the entire EEZ, continental shelf and all areas under petroleum and mineral licenses, from MPA consideration. The Ministers say this is to give certainty to industries, but what about certainty for future generations to have a healthy ocean to thrive on?  Please tell the government what you think. Send submissions by email to mpaconsultation@mfe.govt.nz before this Friday 11 March 5pm. Be sure to include “MPA Act consultation”, your name, address, tel and email. Alternatively use Forest & Birds’ online form.  Below are our key points you may like to cover in yours.

Key Points of CJT Submission

  1. Climate Justice Taranaki Inc. (CJT) welcome a reform of marine protected areas legislation.
  2. The new Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Act places economic growth well above environmental conservation and ignores the fact that the so-called ‘balance’ has long been tipped.
  3. The Act must include the entire marine areas of New Zealand, including territorial seas, the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf (EEZ-CS), to be fit for purpose.
  4. Areas under petroleum and mineral licenses should not be excluded from MPA consideration. There cannot possibly be a representative and adaptive network of MPAs when the EEZ and all licensed areas are excluded.
  5. The foundation and emphasis of the Act should be full protection of marine areas with significant conservation values, as ensured under the Marine Reserve Act.
  6. The regulations and management of other MPAs, notably existing marine mammal sanctuaries and the proposed seabed reserves, require substantial strengthening to offer adequate species protection and opportunities for recovery of threatened species or communities.
  7. Recreational fishing parks do not enhance, protect or restore marine biodiversity and ought not be introduced into the MPA Act. Conflicts between recreational and commercial fisheries are best managed under the Fisheries Act.
  8. CJT support meaningful recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi and customary rights and values in the Act.

Read this media story: Anton Van Heldon: Govt failing in duty to marine life (NZ Herald, 8/03/2016)


Why the ETS should be axed

19/02/2016
  1. The ETS has not reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  2. The ETS should not be the main policy tool for reducing emissions
  3. The ETS offers perverse subsides to polluters
  4. Carbon credits are permits to pollute and the ETS is little more than a scam
  5. We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them

More on the above, read our submission to the Ministry for the Environment.