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POLICY

N04790PL1650Revision0August2016

OffshoreProjectProposalAssessmentPolicy

TableofContents
1 Purpose 2
2 Scope 2
3 Decisionmakingprinciples 2
4 WhatisanOffshoreProject? 2
5 WhatisanOffshoreProjectProposal? 3
6 Presubmissionengagement 4
7 Costrecovery 4
8 OPPAssessmentProcess 4
8.1 OPPassessmentprocessandconsiderations 4
8.2 SubmissionandCompletenessofanOPP 4
8.3 Assessmentteam 5
8.4 Topicscoping 5
8.5 Timeframeforassessment 6
8.6 Requestsforfurtherwritteninformation 6
8.7 Unabletomakeadecision 7
8.8 WithdrawalofanOPP 7
9 OPPAssessmentProcessStageISuitabilityforPublication 7
9.1 CriteriaforPublication 7
9.2 SuitabilityofanOPPforpublication 8
9.3 RefusalofanOPPforpublication 8
9.4 PublicationoftheOPPforpubliccomment 8
9.5 Promotionofthepubliccommentperiod 9
9.6 Submissionsduringthepubliccommentperiod 9
9.7 NOPSEMAsconsiderationofpubliccomments 9
10 OPPAssessmentProcessStageIIAcceptabilityoftheProject 10
10.1 Proponentaddressofpubliccomments 10
10.2 Criteriaforacceptance 10
10.3 Acceptanceofanoffshoreprojectproposal 11
10.4 PublicationofOPPafteracceptance 11
10.5 RefusaltoacceptanOPP 11
10.6 Publicationofreasonsforrefusal 11
11 Policyreview 11
12 Relevantlegislation 11
13 Relateddocuments 12

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OffshoreProjectProposalAssessmentPolicy POLICY

1 Purpose
Thepurposeofthispolicyisto:
supportandprovidedetailtotheoverarchingNOPSEMAAssessmentPolicy(N04000PL0050)
provideadocumented,systematicandconsistentapproachforconductingtheassessmentof
offshoreprojectproposals(OPPs)
clarifytherequirementsandNOPSEMAadvicethatproponentsmusttakeintoconsiderationduring
thepreparationofOPPsubmissions.

2 Scope
ThispolicyappliestotheassessmentofallOPPssubmittedtoNOPSEMAundertheOffshorePetroleumand
GreenhouseGasStorage(Environment)Regulations2009(EnvironmentRegulations).Thereferencetoa
regulationinthispolicyreferstotheEnvironmentRegulationsunlessotherwisespecified.
NOPSEMAspoliciesonenvironmentplan(EP)assessmentsareoutsidethescopeofthispolicy.Referto
Environmentplanassessmentpolicy(N04750PL1347)forNOPSEMAspolicypositionsrelatingtoEP
assessments.
TheOPPcontentrequirementguidancenote(N04790GN1663)providesfurtherinformationonthe
purposeandcontentofanOPP.

3 Decisionmakingprinciples
TheEnvironmentRegulationsspecifythecriteriaagainstwhichNOPSEMAmustmakeitsassessmentfor
boththepublicationoftheOPP1andtheacceptanceoftheOPP2.NOPSEMArecognisesthatassessmentof
anOPPinmeetingthesecriteriaraisescomplexandoftencompetingenvironmental,socialandeconomic
considerations.Therefore,aprincipleddecisionmakingapproachhasbeenadoptedbyNOPSEMAthat:
accordswiththeprinciplesofgooddecisionmakingandproceduralfairnessobligations3
undertakesOPPassessmentsconsistentwiththeobjectoftheEnvironmentRegulations4
makesdecisionswithdueregardtoappropriateandrelevantenvironmentalconsiderations.

4 WhatisanOffshoreProject?
Anoffshoreprojectisoneormoreactivities5thatareundertakeninanoffshoreareaforthepurposeof
recoveryofpetroleumotherthanonanappraisalbasis,includinganyconveyanceofrecoveredpetroleum
bypipeline(EnvironmentRegulations,regulation4).
Specificallyanoffshoreprojectwouldincludeoneormoreofthefollowing:
drilling(otherthanonanexplorationorappraisalbasis)
constructionoffacilitiesorpipelines
operationoffacilitiesorpipelines

1
TheEnvironmentRegulations,subregulation5C(2)
2
TheEnvironmentRegulations,subregulation5D(6)
3
InaccordancewiththeAdministrativeDecisions(JudicialReview)Act1977.
4
EnvironmentRegulations,regulation3.
5
AsdefinedintheEnvironmentalRegulations,regulation4

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anyotherpetroleumactivityinanoffshoreareathatisundertakenfortherecoveryofpetroleum
(excludingappraisalactivities).

AnoffshoreprojectwouldnotincludedevelopmentsthattakeplaceinStateorTerritorycoastalwaters.
Decommissioningactivitiesmustbeincludedinthescopeofanoffshoreprojectproposal.However,
decommissioningactivitiesinisolationdonottriggertherequirementforanOPPsubmissionpriorto
acceptanceofanEP.

5 WhatisanOffshoreProjectProposal?
AnOPPisthedocumentsubmittedbyaproponenttoNOPSEMAwhenseekingacceptanceforanoffshore
project,underPart1AoftheEnvironmentRegulations.AnOPPmustdescribeandevaluatethefollowing
offshoreprojectstages:
productiondrilling
constructionoffacilitiesandinfrastructure
recoveryofpetroleumandassociatedoperationoffacilities
decommissioning.

ThepurposeofanOPPistoprovideforalevelofenvironmentalassessmentthatdeliversenvironmental
outcomesequivalenttoassessmentprocessesundertheEPBCAct.TheOffshoreProjectProposalrequires
theproponenttoidentify,assessandconsultonallthepotentialimpactstomattersprotectedunderPart3
oftheEPBCActandthebroaderenvironmentinasystematicway,whichisconsistentwithenvironmental
impactassessmentprocesses.Specifically,anOPPshoulddeliver:
anassessmentofthefullsuiteofenvironmentalimpactsandrisksofanoffshoreprojectto
demonstratethattheoffshoreprojectcanachieveenvironmentalacceptability,supportedby
detailedandscientificallyrobustenvironmentalimpactassessmentprocesses
arobustevaluationoftheimpactsandriskstomattersprotectedunderPart3oftheEPBCAct
clearlydefinedandmeasurableenvironmentalperformanceoutcomesthatinformthelevelof
environmentalperformancethatistobeachievedforthelifeoftheoffshoreproject
clearlydocumentedandsufficientinformationtoenablethepublictoprovideinformedcomment
duringthemandatorypublicconsultationphaseofanOPP
earlycertaintyforproponentsontheenvironmentalacceptabilityoftheproposedoffshore
project.
TheOPPassessmentprocessenablesaproponenttoachieveawholeofprojectauthorisation,butdoesnot
permitoffshorepetroleumactivitiestocommenceuntilanEP6(orEPs)fortheactivitieshasbeenaccepted
byNOPSEMA.ForanEPtobeassessedandacceptedunderRegulation9(3),itmustbedemonstratedthat
theactivitiesdescribedintheEParealsodescribedinanOPP.Alternatively,anEPcanbeassessedand
acceptedifitcanbedemonstratedthattheactivitieshaveanequivalentacceptancedecisioninaccordance
withtheEPBCAct.
TheEnvironmentRegulationsdoesnotcontainanyprovisionsforthesubmissionofarevisiontoan
acceptedOPP.ToavoidtherequirementforanotherOPPtobesubmittedinthefuture,proponentsare
encouragedtoincludeanyoptionsandactivitiesthatmayformpartoftheoffshoreproject,suchas
additionaldevelopments,andsubsequentlyincludeanassessmentoftheenvironmentalimpactsandrisks
ofthesetoensurethegreatestamountofflexibility.

6
FormoreinformationonEPrequirementsrefertoguidancepublishedonNOPSEMAswebsite

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Whereanexpansionofanexistingfacility7isproposed,itmaynotbenecessarytosubmitanOPP8.
ProponentsareencouragedtoengagewithNOPSEMAearlytodeterminetherequirementforanOPPin
thesecircumstances.

6 Presubmissionengagement
PriortosubmittinganOPPtoNOPSEMAforassessment,proponentsareencouragedtoengagewith
NOPSEMAtogainadviceonthegeneralrequirementsofanOPP,suchasthescope,contentandpublic
consultationprocesses.

7 Costrecovery
NOPSEMAwillchargeafeefortheassessmentofanOPPonafullcostrecoverybasis.Thiscostrecovery
processwillcommenceonthesubmissionofanOPPforassessment.OPPassessmentfeeswillbe
calculatedinaccordancewithNOPSEMAsScheduleofFeesandwillbebasedonthefullexpenseofthe
OPPassessment.FurtherinformationonOPPfeesisprovidedintheguidelineN04750GL1350
Environmentmanagementcostrecovery.

8 OPPAssessmentProcess
8.1 OPPconsiderations
NOPSEMAsassessmentofanOPPconsidersallinformationprovidedbytheproponentonsubmission.
ProponentsarerequiredtoprovidecontentintheOPPtomeeteachrequirementofsubregulation5A(5)
to5A(8)and,afterthepubliccommentperiod,subregulation5D(1).
TheEnvironmentRegulationsplacetheresponsibilityontheproponenttodemonstrateintheOPPthat
impactsandriskshavebeenidentified,evaluatedandwillbemanagedtoanacceptablelevel.
ForguidanceontherequiredcontentsofanOPPsubmission,refertoGuidelineN04790GN1663
GuidanceNoteOffshoreProjectProposalContentRequirements.
TherearetwokeystagesofanOPPAssessment.Theseare:
1. StageISuitabilityofanOPPforpublication(regulation5C)
2. StageIIAssessmentagainstthecriteriaforacceptance(subregulation5D(6))
Sections9and10belowoutlinetheassessmentprocessesforthesetwostages.
StageIandStageIIOPPsreceivedbyNOPSEMAareassessedasseparatesubmissionsunderthe
EnvironmentRegulations.

8.2 SubmissionandCompletenessofanOPP
AnOPPmustbesubmittedbyaproponentwhomaybeanindividualoracompanyanddoesnotneedto
beatitleholder.OPPsmustbesubmittedinwritingandshouldincluderelevantmaps,diagrams,figures,
relevantsupportingstudiesandanyotherinformationthatsupportstheassessmentoftheOffshore
Project,inaccordancewiththeEnvironmentRegulations.
NOPSEMArequiresthatOPPsaresubmittedinaccordancewithguidelineN04000GL0225Making
SubmissionstoNOPSEMA.AnOPPcoversheetshouldalsobesubmittedwiththeOPP(N04790FM1663).


7
DefinedunderRegulation4oftheEnvironmentRegulations.
8
TheseactivitieswouldstillrequireanEPtobesubmitted.

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NOPSEMAwillconductapreassessmentchecktoconfirm:
thatanappropriateperson(proponent)ismakingthesubmission
contactdetailsfortheproponenthavebeenprovided
thatthesubmissionappearsadministrativelycomplete(e.g.allidentifiedattachmentsand
appendiceshavebeenincludedwiththesubmission)
thattheoffshoreprojectwillnotbeundertakeninanypartofadeclaredWorldHeritageproperty.
Anincompletesubmissionmayresultinthereturnofthatsubmissiontotheproponent,oradelayinthe
commencementofNOPSEMAsassessment.Excludingthechecksabove,NOPSEMAwillpresumethatthe
informationprovidedinanOPPsubmissioniscompleteandaccurate.
NOPSEMAwillnotifytheproponentinwritingoftheOPPsubmissionreceiptdateandprovideacontact
personfortheassessment(normallytheLeadAssessor).

8.3 Assessmentteam
AnassessmentteamconsistingofatleasttwoassessorswillundertaketheassessmentofOPPs.Itis
NOPSEMAspreferencetoretainthesameteamforbothstagesoftheassessment.However,where
resourcingandothercircumstancesmakethisimpractical,NOPSEMAmaychangethepersonnelonthe
assessmentteam.

8.4 Topicscoping
TheassessmentofanOPPwillinvolvetheselectionofriskbasedtopicsinformedbythenatureandscaleof
theprojecte.g.thesensitivitiesinthereceivingenvironment,degreeofcommunityinterestorconcern,
andthoseimpactsandrisksthatareconsideredtoposethemostsignificantthreattotheenvironment.In
allcases,ageneralassessmentandatleastonetopicassessmentwillbeselectedtoensurethatallaspects
oftheEnvironmentRegulationsareaddressed.Table1providesanoverviewofkeyconsiderationsduring
generalandtopicassessmentsofanOPP.

Table1 OPPscopeofgeneralandtopicassessments
Part OPPassessmentcriteriaoverview
Generalassessment Inallcases,NOPSEMAwillundertakeanassessmentofthewholeOPPsubmission
todeterminewhetherNOPSEMAisreasonablysatisfiedthattheOPPmeetsthe
criteriaforpublicationsetoutinsubregulation5C(2)(AssessmentStageI)andthe
criteriaforacceptancesetoutinsubregulation5D(6)(AssessmentStageII).

Forbothstages,thegeneralassessmentwilldetermine,ingeneralterms,whether
theOPPcomplieswiththeitemsrequiredbysubregulation5A(5).

DuringStageII,thegeneralassessmentwilldeterminewhethertherequirements
stipulatedinparagraph5D(1)(c)inrelationtopubliccomments,havebeenmet.

ThegeneralassessmentisintendedtoassessatabroadlevelwhethertheOPPhas
anyomissions,highlevelsystemorprocessfaultsorinadequaciesintheaddress
ofpubliccommentsthatwouldresultintheOPPnotmeetingoneormoreofthe
criteriaforpublicationoracceptance.

Topicassessment NOPSEMAwillconductadetailedassessmentofoneormoretopicareasduring
OPPassessments.Thisconsidersindetail,theextenttowhichtheOPPmeetsthe
criteriaforpublicationandcriteriaforacceptance.

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Topicareaswillfocusonthecomponentsoftheactivitythatposethegreatest
levelsofenvironmentalimpact,riskoruncertaintytoestablishifthereareany
specificinformationdeficienciesorfaultsintheproponentsimpactandrisk
assessmentsandsubsequentenvironmentalacceptabilitydeterminations.

TopicassessmentsmayfocusonpubliccommentaspectsoftheOPPassessment
toensurethattheproponentsaddressofpubliccommentsisappropriate.

8.5 Timeframeforassessment
Inaccordancewiththestatutory30dayassessmentdecisiontimeframe,NOPSEMAwillnotifythe
proponentinwritingofoneofthefollowingassessmentoutcomes:
adecisionthattheOPPissuitableforpublication(StageI)
adecisionthattheOPPisnotsuitableforpublication(StageI)
adecisionthattheOPPhasbeenaccepted(StageII)
adecisionthattheOPPhasbeenrefusedacceptance(StageII)
anotificationthatNOPSEMAisunabletomakeadecisionontheOPPwithinthe30dayperiod
(applicabletobothStageIandII).
NOPSEMAwillproposeanalternativetimeframeifitisunabletomakeadecisionwithinthestatutory
timeframe9.
StatutorytimeframesforassessmentarecalculatedfromthedayaftertheOPPsubmissionisreceivedby
NOPSEMA,inaccordancewithsection36oftheActsInterpretationAct1901.10Ifthefinaldayofthe
statutorytimeframefallsonaweekendorpublicholiday,thentheActsInterpretationAct1901allowsfor
thedecisiontobemadeonthefollowingbusinessday.11

8.6 Requestsforfurtherwritteninformation
NOPSEMAmayrequestfurtherwritteninformationfromtheproponenttoclarifyaspectsofthesubmission
thatrelatetotheOPPpublicationcriteria(StageI)oracceptancecriteria(StageII).
NOPSEMAwillspecifyareasonabletimeperiodwithinwhichthisfurtherinformationwillberequired.A
proponentcansubmitearlierthanthespecifiedtimeorrequestmoretime.Adecisionwhetherornotto
granttheextensionwillbeatNOPSEMAsdiscretion.
Responsestorequestsforfurtherwritteninformationwillbeconsideredinconjunctionwithinformationin
theOPP.NOPSEMAgenerallyexpectsthatresponsesareincorporatedintheOPPsothatoneconsolidated
documentcanbeprovidedinresponsetoeachrequestforfurtherwritteninformation.
ShouldNOPSEMArequestfurtherwritteninformationduringeitherstageoftheOPPassessmentprocess
andtheproponentfailstoprovidetheinformation,theinformationmayberequestedagain.NOPSEMAwill
generallylimitthenumberoftimesfurtherwritteninformationissoughtfromtheproponentunder
Regulation5Band5Dtoamaximumoftworequests.NOPSEMAmayseekafurtherroundofwritten
informationinlimitedcircumstances,suchaswhereitisclearthattherehasbeenamisinterpretation
regardingtheinformationbeingsoughtorotherunforeseencircumstancesnecessitateafurtherrequest.
SeeSection9.3formoreinformationonrefusaltoacceptOPPforpublicationandSection10.5forrefusal
toacceptanOPP.

9
EnvironmentRegulations,paragraph5C(1)(c)andparagraph5D(5)(c).
10
ActsInterpretationAct1901,subsection36(1).
11
ActsInterpretationAct1901,subsection36(2).

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8.7 Unabletomakeadecision
IfNOPSEMArequiresmoretimetoconsidertheOPP,inexcessofthe30daytimeframe,anoticewillbe
issuedunderparagraph5C(1)(c)thatadecisionwasunabletobemadeinthe30daytimeframe.
Thismayoccurforarangeofreasonsincluding:
furtherwritteninformationhasbeenrequestedfromtheproponent
complexprojectswithsignificantoruncertainimpactsorrisks
theproponentinformsNOPSEMAthatothersubmissions,includingEPs,areofahigherassessment
priority.
IfNOPSEMAnotifiestheproponentthatitisunabletomakeadecisionwithin30days,NOPSEMAmustset
outaproposedtimetableforconsiderationoftheOPP.

8.8 WithdrawalofanOPP
AproponentmaynotifyNOPSEMAinwritingtowithdrawanOPPfromassessmentatanytimebeforean
acceptanceorrefusaldecisionhasbeenmade.
IftheOPPhasbeenreleasedforpubliccommentbeforetheproponentnotifiesNOPSEMAofitsdecisionto
withdrawtheOPP,NOPSEMAwillpublishanoticeonitswebsitethatthesubmissionhasbeenwithdrawn.
IftheproponenthasnotsubmittedtheOPP12withinsixmonthsofthepubliccommentperiodclosure,
NOPSEMAwillwritetotheproponentandrequestthattheproponentsubmitstheOPPwithinareasonable
timeframeorwithdrawstheOPPfromtheassessmentprocess.

9 OPPAssessmentProcessStageISuitabilityforPublication
9.1 CriteriaforPublication
NOPSEMAwillconsidertheOPPcontenttodeterminewhetheritcanbereasonablysatisfiedthatthe
proposalmeetsthecriteriaforpublication(StageI).InStageI,NOPSEMAwillassessthesuitabilityofthe
OPPforpublicationagainstthecontentrequirementsofanOPPstipulatedintheEnvironment
Regulations.13
StageIofanOPPassessmentwillincludeconsiderationofallimpactsandrisksandwilldrawon
NOPSEMAstechnicalexpertiseasrequired.Atthisstage,theassessmentdoesnotconsiderthe
acceptabilityoftheproject,butratherwhethertheOPPprovidesappropriatedetailtoallowthepublicto
gainasufficientunderstandingoftheimpactsandrisks.
Supportingdocumentationsuchasrelevantenvironmentalimpactassessmentstudies,mustbeincluded
withtheOPPifnotpublicallyavailable.StudiesmaybesummarisedandcitedintheOPPwheretheyare
publiclyavailable.
NOPSEMAwillnotacceptanOPPforpublicationthatdoesnot:
sufficientlyaddressthecontentrequirementsspecifiedinsubregulation5A(5),includingthepolicy
regardingsupportingstudiesdescribedabove.
containenvironmentalperformanceoutcomes(EPOs)thatareconsistentwiththeprinciplesof
ecologicallysustainabledevelopment(ESD)14,directlyrelatetotheidentifiedimpactsandrisksof
theprojectandclearlydefineanacceptablelevelofimpact.

12
Inaccordancewithsubregulation5D(1)
13
EnvironmentRegulations,subregulations5A(5),(6),(7),and(8).
14
ESDasdefinedintheEPBCAct

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NOPSEMAwillnotacceptaproposalforpublicationthatinvolvesanactivityorpartofanactivitybeing
undertakeninanypartofadeclaredWorldHeritagePropertyordoesnotidentifyandevaluatepotential
impactsandriskstomattersprotectedunderPart3oftheEPBCAct.

9.2 SuitabilityofanOPPforpublication
AdecisionthatanOPPissuitableforpublicationunderparagraph5C(1)(a)meansthatNOPSEMAhas
decidedthattheOPPmeetsthecontentrequirementsspecifiedinsubregulation5A(5)andthecriteria
specifiedinsubregulation5C(2).ThedecisionalsoindicatesthatNOPSEMAisreasonablysatisfiedthatthe
informationissufficienttoinformthepublicabouttheproject,totheextentthatthepublichassufficient
informationtomakeinformedsubmissionsduringthepubliccommentperiod.

9.3 RefusalofanOPPforpublication
Afterallrequestedinformationhasbeenreceivedandassessed,ifNOPSEMAdecidesthattheOPPisnot
suitableforpublicationtheproponentwillbenotifiedinwritingassoonaspracticableandprovidedwith
reasonsforthedecision.15AdecisionthattheOPPisnotsuitableforpublicationmaybemadeif:
theoffshoreprojectisclearlyunacceptableundertheOffshorePetroleumandGreenhouseGas
StorageAct2006(theOPGGSAct)andtheEnvironmentRegulations(e.g.itoccursinaWorld
Heritageproperty)
NOPSEMAisnotreasonablysatisfiedthattheOPPmeetsthecriteriaforpublication,asdetailedin
subregulation5C(2)oftheEnvironmentRegulations.
AfterreceivingadecisionthattheOPPisnotsuitableforpublication,theproponentmaychoosetosubmit
anewoffshoreprojectproposalunderregulation5Aandrecommencetheassessmentprocess.

9.4 PublicationoftheOPPforpubliccomment
IntheeventthatNOPSEMAisreasonablysatisfiedthattheOPPissuitableforpublicationunderparagraph
5C(1)(a),inaccordancewithparagraph5C(3)(b),NOPSEMApublishestheOPPonitswebsiteassoonas
practicablealongwiththefollowinginformation:
anoticeinvitingpubliccomment
aspecifiedpubliccommentperiod
instructionsonhowcommentscanbemade.
ItisNOPSEMAspolicythataconsolidatedandcompleteOPPdocumentispublishedandtherefore
proponentswillberequiredtoprovideaversionoftheOPPthatincorporatesalladditionalrequested
informationprovidedinresponsetoanyrequestsforfurtherwritteninformationduringtheStageI
assessment.
OnceNOPSEMAhasreceivedaconsolidatedandcompleteOPPdocumentitwillbepublishedon
NOPSEMAswebsiteonadateagreedwiththeproponent.
TheEnvironmentRegulationsprescribeaminimumpubliccommentperiodoffourweeksforallOPP
submissions.16Extensionofthepubliccommentperiodbeyondtheminimumwillbeatthesolediscretion
ofNOPSEMAanddeterminedonacasebycasebasis.Thelengthofthepubliccommentperiodwillbe
betweenfourandtwelveweeksandwillvarybasedonNOPSEMAsconsiderationofthefollowing:
projectcomplexity
sensitivityoftheenvironmentwithinwhichtheprojectisproposedtobeundertaken


15
EnvironmentRegulations,subregulation5C(4).
16
EnvironmentRegulations,paragraph5C(3)(b).

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degreeofstakeholderconsultationundertakenpriortotheOPPsubmission
numberofnonbusinessdayswithinthepubliccommentperiod
Generally,morecomplexprojectsinproximitytosensitiveenvironmentsthathavehadlittletonoexposure
tostakeholderconsultationbytheproponent,willreceivethefull12weekscommentperiodwherethe
periodfallsoveraperiodofhigherthannormalpublicholidays.
Whereasasmallscaleproject,inaremotelocationawayfromanysensitivereceptorsandhasalready
beensubjecttoareasonableamountofstakeholderconsultation,willlikelyonlyrequiretheminimumfour
weekpubliccommentperiodwherenopublicholidaysfallovertheperiodofpubliccomment.
NOPSEMAwillnotifytheproponentofthepubliccommenttimeframesetbyNOPSEMAinthenoticeof
acceptanceofsuitabilityforpublication.

9.5 Promotionofthepubliccommentperiod
InitsnotificationthattheOPPissuitableforpublication,NOPSEMAwillincludearequestthatthe
proponentpublishanoticeinvitingcommentsontheOPPwithinthedesignatedpubliccommentperiodin
specificmedia.NOPSEMAsrequestwillidentify(ataminimum)therequirementfortheproponentto
advertisein:
aprominentplaceontheproponentswebsite
anationalnewspaper
statewidedailynewspaper(s)intheState(s)and/orNorthernTerritorythatareclosesttothe
offshoreproject(morethanoneStateortheNorthernTerritorymaybenecessarydependingon
theprojectlocation)
aregionalnewspaperclosesttotheoffshoreprojectifpracticable.

9.6 Submissionsduringthepubliccommentperiod
ItisNOPSEMAspolicythatallpubliccommentmustbeinwritingandsubmittedeitherelectronically
(preferred)orbypost.NOPSEMAhaspublishedaninformationpaper(N04790IP1664)thatcontains
additionalinformationonmakingcommentsduringtheOPPpubliccommentperiod.
Toensurethatcommentsareconsideredandaddressed,publiccommentsubmissionsmustbereceivedby
NOPSEMAwithinthespecifiedperiodandviathesubmissiondetailspublishedonNOPSEMAswebsite.
IntheeventthatNOPSEMAreceivescommentonanOPPpriortothepubliccommentperiod,NOPSEMA
willrequestthatthecommentisresubmittedduringthepubliccommentperiodsothataninformed
submissioncanbemade.
Shouldasubmitterwishtoremainanonymous,thismustbemadeclearinthepubliccommentsubmission.

9.7 NOPSEMAsconsiderationofpubliccomments
NOPSEMAwillbetherecipientofallpubliccommentsasthisenablestheregulatortobeinformedaboutall
issuesraisedbythepublicduringthecommentperiod.Publiccommentcorrespondencewillbecollected
andforwardedtotheproponent,inareasonabletimeframe.Informationcontainedinpubliccomments
willbeconsideredbyNOPSEMAduringtheOPPassessmentprocess.
NOPSEMAwillretainacopyofallcorrespondencebutwillnotreviewpubliccommentuntilafterthepublic
commentperiodhasclosedandtheproponenthasresubmittedtheOPPwiththereportsummarisingthe
commentsreceived.NOPSEMAwillthenassesswhethertheOPPadequatelyaddressesthecomments
receivedduringthepubliccommentperiod.
Requestsforpubliccommentsubmissionstoremainanonymouswillbehonoured.However,anonymity
willaffecttheabilityforthatpersontoclearlyseehowtheirspecificobjectionsorclaimshavebeen
considered.

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NOPSEMAwillgenerallynotconsidercommentsaftertheclosuredateforpubliccomment,exceptunder
exceptionalcircumstancessuchasnewinformationrelevanttotheassessmentthatwasnotknowntothe
regulatorortheproponentatthetimeofthepubliccommentperiod,andisimportantforinformingthe
acceptabilityofenvironmentalimpactsandrisks.

10 OPPAssessmentProcessStageIIAcceptabilityoftheProject
10.1 Proponentaddressofpubliccomments
Assoonaspracticableaftertheclosingdateofthepubliccommentperiod,theproponentmaysubmit
anothercopyoftheOPP(whetheralteredornotinresponsetopubliccomments)incorporatingapublic
commentreport.Thisreportshouldsummarisecommentsreceivedduringthepubliccommentperiod.
Thepubliccommentreportmustspecificallyprovideanassessmentofthemeritsofeachobjectionorclaim
madeanddescribeasuitableresponse,orproposedresponse,toeachobjectionorclaim.
Wherethecommentsreceivedareassessedtohavesufficientmerit,theproponentistoalterthecontent
oftheOPPtoreflecttheseresponses.Ifchangeshavenotoccurredinresponsetoanobjectionorclaim,
theproponentmustclearlydemonstratewhytheobjectionorclaimdidnotresultinachangetothe
offshoreprojectoritsenvironmentalmanagement.TheproponentmayalsomakechangestotheOPPto
reflectanyotherinformationlearntoractionsarisingfromthepubliccommentperiod.

10.2 Criteriaforacceptance
DuringStageIIoftheassessmentprocessNOPSEMAwillassesstheacceptabilityoftheprojectin
accordancewiththeacceptancecriteriasetoutinsubregulation5D(6)oftheEnvironmentRegulations.
Thisstageoftheassessmentwillincludeafocusonhowtheproponenthasaddressedpubliccomments
givenduringtheperiodforpubliccomment.TheStageIIassessmentwillalsoinvolveaparticularfocuson
theproponentsdemonstrationthattheenvironmentalimpactsandrisksoftheoffshoreprojectwillbeof
anacceptablelevelforthelifeoftheproject.
IndeterminingwhethertheOPPisacceptable,NOPSEMAwillhaveregardto:
theestablishmentofenvironmentalperformanceoutcomesthat:
o definetheacceptablelevelofenvironmentimpact
o areconsistentwiththeprinciplesofESD
o clearlyrelatetotherisksandimpactsidentifiedandevaluatedintheproposal
o clearlyrelatetoenvironmentalfeaturesthatmaybeimpacted
o addressimpactsandrisksforthelifeoftheproject
relevantinformationandconsiderations,includingcorrespondencefromexternalstakeholdersand
thecontentofpublicsubmissionsincludingwhethertheproponenthasadequatelyaddressed
commentsmade
reputableandpubliclyavailablescientificandotherliteraturerelevanttotheassessmentthatthe
proponentshouldreasonablyhaveknownandconsideredtoconfirmorrefuteclaimsmadebythe
proponent,oridentifygapsintheassessment
DepartmentofEnvironment(DOE)policies,guidelines,plansofmanagementandothermaterial
relatingtomattersprotectedunderPart3oftheEPBCActrelevanttotheproject(referto
AttachmentAoftheEPContentrequirementsguidancenote(N04750GN1344).

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10.3 AcceptanceofanOPP
AdecisiontoacceptanOPPinaccordancewithparagraph5D(5)(a)meansthatNOPSEMAisreasonably
satisfiedthattheOPPmeetstheacceptancecriteriasetoutinsubregulation5D(6)oftheEnvironment
Regulations.AnOPPacceptancedecisionindicatesthattheproponenthasdemonstrated,withasufficient
evidencebasethattheoffshoreprojectcanmeetanacceptablelevelofenvironmentalperformanceand
thatcommentsduringthepubliccommentperiodhavebeenadequatelyaddressed.

10.4 PublicationofOPPafteracceptance
NOPSEMAwillpublishtheOPPonitswebsitewithin10daysofmakingadecisiontoaccepttheOPP17.
NOPSEMAspolicyistopublishaconsolidateddocumentincludingthe:
Proponentssummaryandassessmentofpubliccomments
Proposedactionsinresponsetocomments
AdditionalinformationprovidedinresponsetoNOPSEMArequestsforfurtherwritteninformation.

10.5 RefusaltoacceptanOPP
TheRegulationsrequirethatanOPPmustberefusedacceptanceforoneorbothofthefollowingreasons:
TheoffshoreprojectisclearlyunacceptableundertheOPGGSActandEnvironmentRegulations
(e.g.itoccursinaWorldHeritageproperty)
NOPSEMAisnotreasonablysatisfiedthattheOPPmeetsoneormoreofthecriteriaforacceptance
(subregulation5D(6)).
Inaddition,NOPSEMAmayrefusetoaccepttheOPPifitsubstantiallydiffersfromtheproposalthatwas
publishedforpubliccommentpurposesatthecompletionoftheStageIassessment.
Intheeventthatarefusetoacceptdecisionisreached,theresponselettertotheproponentmustcontain
aclearjustificationforwhyNOPSEMAisnotreasonablysatisfiedthatthesubmissionmeetsthecriteriafor
acceptance.
FollowingadecisionbyNOPSEMAtorefusetoacceptanOPP,theproponentmaychoosetosubmitanew
OPPfortheoffshoreprojectunderRegulation5A.Inthiscase,theOPPwillbeconsideredanewsubmission
andtheassessmentcommencesatStageIoftheassessmentprocess(subregulation5A(5)).

10.6 Publicationofreasonsforrefusal
IfNOPSEMArefusestoacceptanOPP,NOPSEMAmustpublishthereasonsforrefusalonitswebsite18.
Thereasonsforrefusalwillnotbepublisheduntiltheproponenthasbeennotifiedinwritingofthedecision
outcome.

11 Policyreview
NOPSEMAwillreviewandupdatethispolicyfromtimetotimeastheassessmentprocessisrefined.
Reviewsmaybeprompted,forexample,bychangestolegislationorbylessonslearntduringOPP
assessments.

12 Relevantlegislation
OffshorePetroleumandGreenhouseGasStorageAct2006(theOPGGSAct)

17
EnvironmentRegulations,subregulation5D(7)
18
EnvironmentRegulations,subregulation5D(8).

NationalOffshorePetroleumSafetyandEnvironmentalManagementAuthority A469720 August2016 11


OffshoreProjectProposalAssessmentPolicy POLICY

OffshorePetroleumandGreenhouseGasStorage(Environment)Regulations2009(the
EnvironmentRegulations)
EnvironmentProtectionandBiodiversityConservationAct1999(theEPBCAct)
AdministrativeDecisions(JudicialReview)Act1977

13 RelatedDocuments
N04000GL0225GuidelineMakingSubmissionstoNOPSEMA
N04750GN1344GuidanceNoteEnvironmentPlanContentRequirements
N04750GL1350GuidelineEnvironmentManagementCostRecovery
N04750GL1629AssessmentofEnvironmentPlans:decidingonconsultationrequirements
N04750IP1382InformationPaperStreamliningEnvironmentalRegulationofPetroleumActivitiesin
CommonwealthWaters
N04750IP1411InformationPaperConsultationRequirementsundertheOffshorePetroleumand
GreenhouseGasStorage(Environment)Regulations2009
N04750PL1347PolicyEnvironmentPlanAssessment
N04790FM1653FormOffshoreProjectProposalCoverSheet
N04790GN1663GuidanceNoteOffshoreProjectProposalContentRequirements
N04790IP1664InformationPaperOffshoreProjectProposal:PublicComment

NationalOffshorePetroleumSafetyandEnvironmentalManagementAuthority A469720 August2016 12