The Austrian oil giant, OMV, which plans to drill for oil and gas in the Great South Basin has made an application to the Environmental Protection Agency. It is largely a bogus application which is based on “discharging trace amounts” of toxins if there is a spill or accident on board their drilling rig. It does not take into account the effects of climate change or the possible effects of an oil spill (ie. should part of the drilling or piping equipment rupture) in the area.
You can make a submission via the EPA’s website, https://www.epa.govt.nz/public-consultations/open-consultations/omv-gsb-limited/submissions/
Submissions are due in on Monday 27th May
If you are able to, submissions are usually more effective if you speak in front of the committee.
We would recommend that you focus on:
- the fact that it is bogus that the EPA can’t take climate change into account when this is the key threat of continued fossil fuel exploration. The EPA can take into account localised environmental impact but it doesn’t consider the comulative impact of things such as greenhouse gases on climate change. This is due to existing laws which the government is being called on to change.
- The Great South Basin is rich in marine biodiversity. It boasts right whales, rare New Zealand sea lions, bottlenose dolphins and, in the deeper ocean, sperm, beaked, humpback, and pilot whales, wending their way up the Pacific migration highway. And, of course, spectacular seabirds like albatross, soaring on three-metre wingspans, mollymawks and shearwaters.
- There is also a booming eco-tourism industry in the area. All of this would be effected by an oil spill, should one occur, and of course climate change.
- OMV does have a history of small oil spills, particularly from their vessel the Raroa. Seven have occured off the Taranaki coast under the vessel’s previous captain.
A stuff article on the topic can be found here https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/108086157/photo-essay-battling-big-oil-in-the-dangerous-southern-ocean