Regulating the Environmental Impact of Oil and Gas Activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone and Extended Continental Shelf
Warnock, Ceri Ailsa
There can be little doubt that the Deepwater Horizon disaster catalysed the present governmental action directed towards the environmental management of New Zealand’s oceans. The suggestions of an environmental permitting regime for the exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf (EEZ-ECS) had been languishing at the policy development stage for over a decade before the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill 2011 (the Bill) is now before Parliament and it is envisaged that the legislation will be brought into force before the end of 2012. This brief article considers whether the proposed legislation appears capable of improving the environmental protection of New Zealand’s oceans from the risks inherent in oil and gas activities, and in particular whether the reforms are likely to do anything to minimise the prospects of an accidental oil spill.
Keywords: Environmental law; Sustainability; New Zealand
Research Type: Journal Article