Planning and Environmental Approvals

The majority of the Snowy Scheme is located within Kosciuszko National Park, which we consider as our backyard. We have operated the Scheme in an environmentally responsible way over many decades.

Snowy 2.0 is going through a comprehensive, well-established and transparent planning and environmental approvals process. Only once the relevant approvals are in place can construction of the Snowy 2.0 project begin.

Integral to the Snowy 2.0 planning process is the declaration by the NSW Government that the project is Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW).

The CSSI declaration recognises the importance of the Snowy 2.0 project to NSW and sets out a clear and rigorous planning approval pathway that Snowy 2.0 must follow.

Comprehensive Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) are being developed for Snowy 2.0, addressing the project’s environmental, social and economic impacts. The EIS are assessed by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) as part of the approvals process.

Members of the community have an opportunity to review the EIS and make submissions during the public exhibition period. After reviewing submissions, Snowy Hydro prepares a report that responds to the issues raised.

The EIS and final reports are considered by DPE when making an assessment and recommendation to the NSW Minister for Planning whether works should proceed or not. Approval from the Minister for Planning is required for Snowy Hydro to begin any construction works.

The Snowy 2.0 Exploratory Works EIS was lodged in 2018 and is awaiting determination; the Snowy 2.0 Main Works EIS will be submitted in the first half of 2019.

Approvals may also be required from the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Energy under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth).

There is more information about Snowy 2.0 exploratory works here. The exploratory works EIS is available here.