Rehabilitation of abandoned fracking operations: A comparative study on the effectiveness of levy schemes in meeting the polluter pays principle
Environmental and Planning Law Journal
School of Business and Law
This article critically reviews Alberta's Orphan Fund Levy and Western Australia's Mining Rehabilitation Fund as possible models of financial assurance to be applied to unconventional gas developments in Australia, to support governments to better manage the environmental risks associated with abandoned sites. The article finds that levy schemes have strengths in shifting the financial burden for long-term environmental liabilities to industry, consistent with the polluter pays principle, which are absent in other forms of financial assurance. The article outlines additional assurance mechanisms that could be put in place by governments in conjunction with levy schemes for financially riskier projects or projects with a high social impact.