Australia

Ironstone Community Action Group Inc v. NSW Minister for Planning and Duralie Coal Pty Ltd

Ironstone Community Action Group Inc v. NSW Minister for Planning and Duralie Coal Pty Ltd (2011) NSWLEC 195 (10 November 2011)

 

This was an appeal brought by a third party objector (ICAG) against the Minister of Planning’s decision to approve the extension of an existing coal mine. The objections raised in this appeal focused on the impacts of the coal mine extension on biodiversity (especially the threatened Giant Barred Frog), water quality impacts, health impacts from particulate matter, noise pollution, and dust emissions.

 

Australian Conservation Foundation v. Minister for Planning [2004] VCAT 2029

Environmental groups challenged an amendment to the provisions of a local planning scheme that was necessary for the expansion of the Hazelwood coal mine in southeastern Australia. The petitioners claimed that the environment effects statement (EES) should have included analysis of the impacts of carbon emissions when the coal is later burned.

Humane Society International Inc. v. Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd.

Humane Society International Inc. v. Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd. [2015] FCA 1275 (November 18, 2015)
Federal Court of Australia

In earlier proceedings, the Federal Court of Australia issued injunctions blocking a Japanese whaling company (Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd.) from killing, injuring, taking, or interfering with any Antarctic minke whale, fin whale, or humpback whale in the Australian Whale Sanctuary unless specifically authorized under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.  Para. 5. 

Warkworth Mining Ltd. v. Bulga Milbrodale Progress Ass’n Inc.

Warkworth Mining Ltd. v. Bulga Milbrodale Progress Ass’n Inc. [2014] NSWCA 105
New South Wales Court of Appeal

A mining company applied to expand an existing open-cut coal mine, the Warkworth Mine, located in the Hunter Valley of the state of New South Wales.  The company sought to mine areas that had previously been deemed uneconomical due to lower coal prices.  These areas had been designated previously as “non-disturbance” areas under prior authorizations. 

Gray v. Minister for Planning

Gray v. Minister for Planning, 40870 of 2006 (2006.11.27) (Land and Environment Court of New South Wales) (Judgment)

Petitioner Peter Gray challenged a decision by the Director-General of the Director of Planning that the EIA prepared by the proponent of the proposed Anvil Mine was adequate. Gray asserted among other things that the EIA should have considered the impact to the climate of burning the mined coal at a coal-fired power plant.

 

Judge Pain’s decision in this case presents an eloquent defense of considering this impact: “I consider there is a sufficiently proximate link between the mining of a very substantial reserve of thermal coal in NSW, the only purpose of which is for use as fuel in power stations, and the emission of GHG which contribute to climate change/global warming, which is impacting now and likely to continue to do so on the Australian and consequently NSW environment, to require assessment of that GHG contribution of the coal when burnt in an environmental assessment…”

 

“Environmental assessment is intended to enable decision makers to be properly informed about the future environmental consequences of the project before them. The environmental assessment is a prediction of what the impacts might be given that the project is yet to be built. It is not appropriate to limit the scope of the environmental assessment on the basis that GHG emissions may or may not be subject to regulation in the future whether in NSW or overseas. The fact that it is difficult to quantify an impact with precision does not mean it should not be done.”

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