A NSW Government website

Coal seam gas

The NSW Gas Plan sets out the regulations for all coal seam gas (CSG) activities in the state. Importantly, the NSW Gas Plan is based on the findings of the Chief Scientist and Engineer's Independent Review of CSG Activities in New South Wales.

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 (Mining SEPP) establishes a consistent approach to the assessment and regulation of gas projects in NSW.

You can visit the Major Projects to search for the name or location of a project.

CSG Regulation

NSW has the toughest coal seam gas regulations in Australia. They include:

  • regulations governing mining and CSG activity, with oversight by a Land and Water Commissioner
  • banning the use of BTEX chemicals and evaporation ponds in coal seam gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing activities
  • codes of practice on coal seam gas exploration - fracture stimulation and well integrity
  • referrals to the NSW Minister for Primary Industries and the Commonwealth Independent Expert Scientific Committee for advice on water impacts
  • the Environment Protection Authority as lead regulator.

CSG exclusion zones

The NSW Government has introduced CSG exclusion zones to make residential areas ‘off limits’ to new coal seam gas activity.

CSG exclusion zones came into force in October 2013 for existing residential areas in all 152 local government areas in NSW, and the North West and South West Growth Centres of Sydney.

In January 2014, the Government introduced CSG exclusion zones for additional future residential growth areas and seven rural villages across NSW, and the equine and viticulture critical industry clusters in the Upper Hunter.

The exclusion zones ban new coal seam gas activity within a 2km buffer around existing and future residential areas and within the mapped critical industry clusters.