STOP OMV – No more drilling!

No more drilling in Taranaki. We’ve had enough!

OMV New Zealand Ltd (OMV), an Austrian multi-national drilling company, plans to drill 12 offshore wells across six licensed areas off the Taranaki coast, and to discharge harmful contaminants at sea. 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 Environmental Protection Authority (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. …

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.

Here is EPA’s reply (5 July 18) to our letter basically saying that the EEZ Act provision s44 which allows for joint processing would not apply, because OMV had made only one consent application at the time (even though it intended to lodge another one on 31 July).

In regards to the non-notified marine consent applications (for the drilling), the Minister for the Environment’s reply (29 Aug 18) to us says “the decision making committee appointed by EPA will determine whether a hearing is necessary or desirable“. What do you think?

We are not talking about one or two wells. We are talking about the risks and potentially disastrous consequence from drilling 12 exploratory/appraisal 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.

Following the crown’s own Navigatus report (2015) The Ministry of Transport recently stated “Exploratory drilling comes with a lot of unknowns, such as the pressure of the well, the substance in the well, and the volume of the well. Given these unknowns, breaking ground below sea-level often presents greater risk than existing operations

Consent for more drilling, extraction and discharging of pollutants into our seas, land and air must be opposed as we now face the disastrous effects of climate change and the rapid loss of biodiversity – Earth’s 6th mass species extinction.

EPA HEARING on 4 & 5th September 2018

Climate Justice Taranaki and several other submitters will be speaking against the application at the EPA hearing scheduled on 4 & 5th September, at the Quality Hotel in New Plymouth. The hearing schedule is on EPA website. The hearing is open to the public if you’d like to come have a listen.

Alternatively take part in the Protest Against Climate Polluters (4 Sept 9-4pm; 5 Sept 9-1pm) to show your opposition against further oil exploration and drilling. We don’t want to let the consent go through in silence, we need to be loud and clear that ‘Enough is enough’, we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground and get on with just transition to a low carbon, sustainable and equitable society. More details of the event on facebook.

Please share this with your friends and whānau.

You can find our more about the application on the EPA website and read CJT’s submission here.