Environmental Approvals

KEPCO is committed to working sustainably and with respect for the communities and environments in which it operates. KEPCO believes in performing its work in an environmentally responsible manner, and is committed to a vision of zero harm to people and assets, and zero environmental incidents.

KEPCO has lodged a State Significant Development Application (DA) for the Bylong Coal Project with the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E).  The lodgement of the DA and supporting Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a formal step in the planning approvals process.

The EIS has been prepared by Hansen Bailey, an environmental consultancy that services mining and related industries. The purpose of the EIS is to provide a detailed description of the Project, understand the existing environment of the project area, identify potential environmental and social impacts of the proposed development, and then manage these impacts through avoidance, mitigation and offsetting. The EIS also identifies actions to enhance project benefits and social opportunities for the local region. Collection of environmental monitoring data commenced in April 2011, and is being used to assess the baseline environmental conditions and set monitoring thresholds.

The EIS was prepared in accordance with the Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs - formally Director General Requirements or DGRs), issued by the DP&E in June 2014. The Project was also referred to the Australian Government Department of the Environment and declared a ‘controlled action’ in early 2014. Subsequently, the project is required to assess Matters of National Environmental Significance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The assessment process under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 has been formally accredited for the purpose of assessing the impacts of the controlled action. The SEARs for the Project incorporate the Australian Government Department of the Environment’s environmental assessment requirements.

The DA and EIS were placed on public exhibition by DP&E for a period of 6 weeks from Wednesday 23 September 2015 until Friday 6 November 2015. During the exhibition period, members of the public were invited to review the EIS and make a written submission to DP&E. DP&E received a total of 383 submissions on the project EIS. 

KEPCO and its EIS consultant Hansen Bailey prepared a response to these submissions in the form of a Response to Submissions (RTS) report. KEPCO submitted the RTS report to DP&E on 23 March 2016.The report addresses issues raised during public exhibition and provides additional information and / or clarification on various aspects of the EIS. The RTS report is available for download from DP&E’s website. Additional matters raised by a small number of stakeholders were addressed in a Supplementary Response to Submissions report submitted in August 2016.

Following the DP&E’s consideration of the RTS report and preparation of the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Report, the application was referred to the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) for review and consideration.  Final determination of the Project will include input from the Australian Government on Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) under the EPBC Act.