Abatement notices served on BWO remain in place

The High Court has granted the EPA’s request for an interim stay of an Environment Court decision that stopped abatement notices issued to BW Offshore (BWO) from taking effect.

The High Court decision means the abatement notices issued by the EPA remain in place.

BWO had commenced activities to disconnect its vessel and remove it from the Tui oil field but the EPA served abatement notices to stop it doing so.

BWO appealed the issue of the abatement notices and asked the Environment Court to urgently stay the abatement notices until their appeal could be heard, meaning that BWO would remain free to continue its disconnection activities in the meantime. The Environment Court granted that stay on 26 March 2020.

On 27 March the EPA appealed that decision to the High Court. The EPA also asked the High Court for an interim stay of the Environment Court’s decision to stay the abatement notices, until the EPA’s appeal was able to be heard. That application was heard by the High Court, under urgency, on 6 April via teleconference.

The substantive appeal of the abatement notices in the Environment Court is yet to be heard.