Environmental management guidelines

The Queensland Government has worked closely with the coal seam gas (CSG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry to amend existing legislation and introduce new laws to help protect our environment and establish a sustainable CSG-LNG industry.

Regulation and use of CSG water

CSG water is treated as waste by the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act), but under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 (Waste Act) it can be approved for use as a resource if it is deemed to have a beneficial use.

Read more about the regulation of CSG water.

Beneficial use of CSG water

You can reuse CSG water if you can meet conditions approved by the Queensland Government.

The end of waste (EOW) framework under chapter 8 and chapter 8A of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 promotes resource recovery opportunities and aims to transform the perception of waste from being seen as waste to being valued as a resource.

The EOW framework consists of:

  • EOW codes that relate to any registered resource producers for a code
  • EOW approvals considered on a trial basis for reusing waste as resources for which an EOW code has not been developed for the waste.

A waste can be approved as a resource if the Queensland Government considers that it meets specified quality criteria for its specific use. It is the waste producer's responsibility to ensure that the resource meets the specified quality criteria prior to supplying it to the user for approved use.

You must register as a resource producer to operate under an EOW code using the approved form: Registered resource producer for an end of waste code.

Read more about the EOW framework.

EOW code for irrigating with CSG water

The End of waste code for irrigation with associated water (including CSG water) – ESR/2019/4712 (PDF, 539KB) sets down water quality and environmental requirements and conditions for irrigating with associated water (including CSG water).

It defines minimum water quality conditions to make sure that:

  • soil structure, stability and productive capacity are maintained
  • toxic effects do not result
  • there is a genuine benefit to the resource user through maintained or improved yields
  • there is no risk of serious or material environmental harm.

EOW code for other uses

The End of waste code for associated water (including CSG water) – ESR/2019/4713 (PDF, 435KB) includes conditions for the following uses of associated water (including CSG water):

  • aquaculture
  • coal washing
  • dust suppression
  • construction
  • landscaping and revegetation
  • industrial and manufacturing operations
  • research and development
  • domestic, stock, stock intensive and incidental land management.

Applying for an EOW approval

You can apply for an EOW approval if an EOW code for the particular resource or for a particular use of a resource has not been developed yet. An EOW approval is issued to a single resource producer for the purpose of trialling the use of a waste as a resource to provide proof of concept.

This will require you to undergo a site-specific assessment in accordance with chapter 8 of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011.