Compliance audits completed during 2010 - Summary of findings
About the summaries
This document is a summary of findings for compliance audits completed during 2010 by the EPBC Act Compliance Auditing Programme.
The projects audited were
A compliance audit of Nar Nar Goon to Tynong Sewer Transfer Pipeline was conducted by the department during May 2010.
There are two particular manner requirements set out in the decision notification and South East Water Limited, Utility Services demonstrated compliance with requirement 2 relating to the employment of trench-less construction techniques along the pipeline alignment.
Requirement 1 related to the implementation of the Environmental Management Plan (EMP). South East Water Limited, Utility Services generally complied with the elements of the EMP however four non-conformances were found, three of which were self reported by the auditee. No impacts on matters of national environmental significance as a result of the non-conformances.
The four non-conformances have been addressed to the satisfaction of the department in line with the department's Compliance and Enforcement Policy.
A compliance audit of Amberfield Residential Development was conducted by the department on 23 September 2010.
There are two particular manner requirements set out in the decision notification and Hume City Council demonstrated compliance with requirement 1 relating to the establishment of the 1.75ha conservation reserve.
Requirement 2 related to the implementation of the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the conservation reserve. Although the EMP is generally being complied with by Hume City Council with regards to ongoing management, monitoring and weed control, a non-conformance was noted with regard to one element of the EMP concerning the non-planting of five River Red Gums.
The non-conformance has been addressed to the satisfaction of the department in line with the department's Compliance and Enforcement Policy. There were no impacts on matters of national environmental significance as a result of the non conformances.
A compliance audit of Aurora Residential Development was conducted by the department on 23 -24 September 2010.
There are seven conditions attached to the approval decision. VicUrban have demonstrated compliance with three of the conditions in relation to record keeping, management and monitoring of reserves in accordance with the Aurora Conservation Management Plan (ACMP) and the management and monitoring of existing and newly created habitat for the Growling Grass Frog.
Two non-conformances were noted in relation to components of the ACMP; the submission of the first annual report and the implementation of suitable mechanisms to protect the reserves. All other conditions were rated 'not applicable' at the time of audit.
There were no impacts on matters of national environmental significance and non-conformances have been addressed to the satisfaction of the department in line with the department's Compliance and Enforcement Policy. The department has required that suitable mechanisms to protect the reserves be put in place prior to the cessation of the ACMP.
In November 2009 the department commenced an audit of Montara Field Development. Finalisation of the audit findings was deferred until the publication of the findings of the Commission of inquiry into the uncontrolled release of oil and gas from the Montara Wellhead Platform. The audit examined the conditions relating to the protection of the Commonwealth Marine area. PTTEP Australasia (Ashmore Cartier) Pty Ltd (PTTEPAA) is the owner/operator of the Montara Field Development, which was approved under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) with six conditions on 3 September 2003.
Under condition 1, the Oil Spill Contingency Plan (OSCP) is required to be approved by the Commonwealth Environment Minister. Operations must not commence until the OSCP is approved, and the OSCP must be implemented. Drilling of the wells commenced before the OSCP was approved.
The Montara Commission of Inquiry found that PTTEPAA may have breached condition 1. The audit agreed that PTTEPAA were not compliant with condition 1 because it commenced drilling before the OSCP was approved. The Commission of Inquiry concluded that PTTEPAA had misunderstood the meaning of the term "operations". The department has also acknowledged in its submission to the Montara Commission of inquiry, that "it should have addressed with PTTEPAA their having an OSPC approved prior to drilling".
The department acknowledges that PTTEPAA did implement the approved version of the OSCP at the time of the spill.
Conditions 2, 3, 5, and 6 were not applicable at the time of the audit.
Under condition 4, PTTEPAA are required to submit an annual compliance certificate on 1 July after the commencement of construction. Drilling commenced in January 2009, however the first compliance certificate was not submitted until 28 August 2009.
The department acknowledges that these non-compliances did not have any impact on the environment and have since been dealt with administratively in line with the department's Compliance and Enforcement Policy.