Activities that are listed either in Listing 1 or in Listing 2 or Listing 3 require Environmental Authorisation from the Competent Authority before commencement (either DFFE, DMRE, or provincial authorities) before any vegetation is removed or earthworks can begin.
The Applicant (or the developer for a listed activity) must appoint an independent, registered Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP) to manage the Application for Environmental Authorisation on his/her behalf. The EAP must generate a Screening report to determine which process to follow; Basic Assessment or Scoping and EIA or request an Exemption. Any person can request the Screening report from an EAP which will indicate whether existing databases have flagged biodiversity, cultural heritage and other factors as sensitive on the proposed site. Generally, activities that are routine, with easily managed impacts on a small scale and with a short duration are subjected to a Basic Assessment while those that are more complex and have a longer duration or are in Critical Biodiversity areas require Scoping and EIA as the impacts need to be more carefully identified and managed.
The reports prepared by the EAP are submitted to the Competent Authority (DFFE, DMRE or provincial department) who will decide whether to grant or refuse authorisation based on the outcome of the Environmental Impact Assessment process. The Competent Authority will also state in the Environmental Authorisation the conditions that the Applicant must abide to while implementing the project and how these are to be monitored and reported on to assure environmental compliance throughout the life of the project including closure. This is particularly important for mining projects which need to include the cost of rehabilitation in a cost-benefit analysis to determine long-term sustainability.
The decision made by the Competent Authority to either grant or refuse the requested Environmental Authorisation, may be Appealed (at provincial or national level check website for latest form).