By Kerrin Thomas - ABC Sydney
The state's Environmental Defenders Office has launched legal action against the State Government and Santos, over the approval of a waste treatment facility near Narrabri.
The application for a waste water treatment plant at the Leewood facility should have been viewed as outside the scope of exploration and therefore required to face a higher level of development scrutiny, according to the EDO and its client, Narrabri-based group People for the Plains.
Under State planning laws, some CSG exploration works are exempt from requiring development consent but the EDO's Principal Solicitor, Sue Higginson, said this development should not have been exempt.
She said the approval processes are significantly different.
"The process that's been applied to this development required a less onerous environmental assessment," she said.
"It also didn't provide for the full public participation that, had it gone through the full and rigorous legal assessment and procedures, we say ought have been applied."