About the EIS process

Does my project need an EIS?

The environmental impact statement (EIS) process (PDF, 426KB) under the Environmental Protection 1994 Act (EP Act) is used to assess resource project proposals that have a relatively high level of environmental risk. These projects are often also important to the economic development in Queensland and typically involve high capital expenditure and the potential to generate substantial regional development and employment.

In deciding whether an application requires assessment by EIS, the department will carry out its functions and responsibilities in accordance with the EP Act. Resource projects considered to be a relatively high environmental risk will be required to submit an EIS, unless:

  • the application relates to a ‘coordinated project’ under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (SDPWO Act), or
  • an EIS under the EP Act has already been submitted to the department.

There are several ways that an EIS process under the EP Act may be applied to the assessment of a proposed resource activity:

  • A site-specific application for an environmental authority for a resource activity under the EP Act is made and the department decides that assessment will be by EIS. This includes site-specific EA amendment applications for existing resource activities. Only site-specific applications can trigger the EIS process; standard or variation applications do not.
  • An amendment application for an existing EA for a resource activity under the EP Act is made and the department decides that the proposed amendment is a major amendment.
  • The project proponent submits an application for approval to voluntarily prepare an EIS and the department decides that an EIS is appropriate for the proposed project.

What are the EIS criteria?

In making the decision if an EIS is required, the department will take into account:

  • the standard criteria (pursuant Schedule 4, EP Act)
  • EIS triggers (EIS criteria guideline (PDF, 80KB))
  • the relative magnitude (scale and risk) of impacts (e.g. impacts on matters of state environmental significance, water quality and resources, environmentally sensitive areas (Category A, B and/or C), air, noise)
  • the public interest
  • uncertainty about possible impacts
  • any significant issues with another Queensland Government/ Australian Government authority (e.g. matters of national environmental significance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, agriculture, fisheries, transport)
  • social and economic impacts
  • cumulative impacts.

The department has published an EIS criteria guideline (PDF, 80KB) to help you establish whether your resource project is likely to require an EIS.

Other Queensland State EIS assessment processes

The EIS assessment process under the EP Act is used for mining or petroleum/gas projects. However your project may be declared a ‘coordinated project’ by the Coordinator-General or you may wish to consider this as an option. For more information about the Coordinator-General’s EIS assessment see the coordinated projects section of the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning website.

In this guide:

  1. Types of EIS
  2. Does my project need an EIS?
  3. Terms of reference (TOR)
  4. Developing an EIS
  5. Pre-lodgement service
  6. Applicable fees
  7. Other resources for EIS

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