Environmental penalties

Penalties will be issued if you do not comply with legislation and or approved plans and your activity causes damage to the environment.

The penalty will depend on how serious the non-compliance is and how much damage is caused.

When taking into account the damage the following will be considered:

  • whether it involved wilful or malicious intent
  • how easily it can be fixed 
  • the operator’s performance history.

Minor incidents

In the case of a minor incident, a formal warning will be given that an activity is not being managed satisfactorily.

The warning also gives you the chance to fix the situation before formal action is taken.

Major incidents

In the case of a major incident you will be given a formal direction to carry out works in cases where an environmental outcome is not being met or addressed.

If you do not follow this direction, the government can carry out the works and recover the cost from you.

You will also be asked to provide specific information, documents and physical and scientific evidence relating to your petroleum activities.

Environmental offences

It is an offence to release or fail to prevent the release of contaminants or waste material that may cause serious or material environmental harm.

Both individuals and companies can be prosecuted and jailed in extreme cases.

Cancellation of permit or licence

If you ignore directions or have been found guilty of an offence, exploration permits or production licences can be cancelled. This means you can no longer lawfully operate in the Territory.

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Last updated: 13 October 2017