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Managing environmental effects of onshore petroleum development activities: Guidelines for local government

Publication date:  March 2014
Publication reference number:  ME 1145

This document provides guidance to regional councils and territorial authorities who regulate onshore petroleum development activities including hydraulic fracturing.

The guidelines:

  • clarify the regulatory roles of hydraulic fracturing-related activities across central and local government
  • provide guidance to local government for managing the effects of these activities under the Resource Management Act 1991.

The guidelines cover the life-cycle of onshore petroleum well development, including seismic surveying, site selection, drilling, hydraulic fracturing, management of hazardous substances and waste, and decommissioning. The guidelines do not cover activities beyond the well site (eg, transportation or processing of produced petroleum), managing well sites after decommissioning, or offshore development in the coastal marine area or Exclusive Economic Zone.

The development of these guidelines involved scoping and review from a reference group of local and central government regulators and domestic and international peer reviews. The draft guidelines were released for targeted consultation in October 2013, and have been finalised following feedback from local councils, NGOs, iwi and the petroleum and primary industry sectors.