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About the EIS process

Does my project need an EIS?

The environmental impact statement (EIS) process under the Environmental Protection 1994 Act (EP Act) is triggered for resource project proposals that involve a relatively high level of environmental risk. These projects are 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. This includes the use of its powers to require an EIS for a resource project application if consideration of the EIS trigger guideline (PDF, 81KB), the standard criteria and other relevant matters indicate an EIS is required, 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 voluntary prepare an EIS and the department decides that an EIS is appropriate for the proposed project.

What are the trigger criteria?

The department has published trigger criteria (PDF, 81KB) to help you establish whether your resource project is likely to require an EIS. The criteria typically cover high removal amounts or activities that have the potential to impact on environmental values.

Other Queensland State EIS assessment processes

The EIS assessment process under the EP Act is used generally for mining or petroleum/gas projects. However, there is the potential that your project may be declared a ‘coordinated project’ under the SDPWO Act or that you may wish to consider this as an option. For more information about EIS under the SDPWO Act view the coordinated projects section of the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning website for more information on this process.

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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