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§ 34 Information on monitoring, emissions, discharges and risk of pollution

The operator shall submit the following material and information to the Norwegian Environment Agency:
  1. results from monitoring of the external environment, cf. Chapter X of the Activities Regulations. The results shall be submitted in accordance with the Guidelines for monitoring of the petroleum activities offshore (M-300) (in Norwegian only). Deadline for submitting quality assured drafts of reports from monitoring of seabed habitats (sediments and fauna), baseline surveys and water column monitoring, is 1 April the year after the monitoring took place. Deadline for submitting final reports is 1 October. Significant deviations from the expected condition or development shall be reported to the Norwegian Environment Agency as soon as possible. Other monitoring results shall be submitted as soon as they become available,
  2. information on changes in the risk of pollution. The information shall include the reasons for the change and remedial measures implemented,
  3. annual report in accordance with the Norwegian Environment Agency's Guidelines for reporting from the petroleum activities offshore (M-107) (in Norwegian only). Deadline for reporting is the 15th of March the following year. The reporting shall take place using Environment Hub (EEH). Complete quality assured reports and underlying data shall be available for the Norwegian Environment Agency before expiration of the reporting deadline,
  4. plans for environmental monitoring of benthic habitats, as mentioned in Section 54 of the Activities Regulations, shall be submitted to the Norwegian Environment Agency by 1 February in the year the monitoring shall take place. Plans for monitoring of the water column, as mentioned in Section 55 of the Activities Regulations, shall be submitted by 1 April in the year the monitoring shall take place.
The operator shall submit the following material and information to the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority:
  1. annual report in accordance with the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority’s Guidelines for reporting of radioactive substances for the petroleum activities (in Norwegian only). Deadline for reporting is the 15th of March the following year. The reporting shall take place using Environment Hub (EEH). Complete quality assured reports and underlying data shall be available for the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority before expiration of the reporting deadline,
  2. plans for surveys for monitoring of radioactive pollution, in accordance with the annual agreement between the operator and the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, cf. Section 52 of the Activities Regulations,
  3. results of surveys for monitoring of radioactive pollution, in accordance with the annual agreement between the operator and the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, cf. Section 52 of the Activities Regulations.
Section last changed: 01 January 2018

The requirement to reporting in litera a also comprises a report on environmental surveys in the event of acute pollution.
The authorities recommend that the operators make active use of the reports internally in order to implement additional measures designed to reduce discharges and emissions from the facilities.
The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association has drawn up guidelines for the reporting requirements in Section 34 litera c. These guidelines can be regarded as a contribution towards simplifying reporting and making it more coordinated, and can be used in addition to the Norwegian Environment Agency’s Guidelines for reporting from the petroleum activities offshore (in Norwegian only) and the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority’s Guidelines for reporting of radioactive substances for the petroleum activities (in Norwegian only) respectively. The guidelines of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association include, inter alia, definitions of which chemicals sort under the different areas of use in Chapters 4.2–4.9 of the Appendix.
Deadline for reporting is 15 March, when reports and reported numbers shall be quality assured and stored in EEH. The Norwegian Environment Agency and the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority will store the PDF version of reports for their respective areas in their electronic archives, thereby making them available in the public journals. Relevant parts of the numerical material will be transferred to the data base Total emissions to air in Norway.
The Norwegian Environment Agency and the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority report discharges from the petroleum activities on the Norwegian continental shelf to OSPAR (the Oslo and Paris Commission) in accordance with OSPAR’s guidelines. Different parts of the companies’ annual reports form the basis for the directorates’ reporting to OSPAR. Use and discharge of drilling fluids, oil with produced water and chemicals are examples of what the Norwegian Environment Agency’s reports. The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority reports, inter alia, discharges of radioactive substances with produced water.
Significant changes in the environmental risk should be reported immediately. Examples of such changes include changes in preparedness against acute pollution. Other changes can be reported in connection with zero discharge reporting. When presenting environmental risk, the selected methodology should be described and explained. Environmental risk should be presented for the field as a whole. Environmental risk associated with the various facilities on the field, can be described in Chapter 10; Appendix.
A brief interpretation should be provided of the environmental risk figures, comparisons should be made with previous years, and the causes of any changes in risk should be explained.
A summary and description as mentioned in litera d regarding preparedness against acute pollution, is discussed in connection with the application for permission to carry out activities under the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only). Therefore, the documents should be submitted to the Norwegian Environment Agency simultaneously with the application for permission.

In-depth description of the Pollution Control Act and the terms used in the Act, in connection with the reporting requirements.
General
The Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only) is structured with a general prohibition against having, doing or implementing anything that can entail a danger of pollution. Pollution is only allowed if it is lawful pursuant to Section 8 or Section 9 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only), or if consent has been granted pursuant to Section 11. The fact that pollution has actually occurred, is not decisive. Instances where there is a danger of pollution, are also covered by the prohibition.
Pollution can be divided into lawful and unlawful pollution:

Lawful pollution

Unlawful pollution

Section 7 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only)

 

Pollution that is lawful pursuant to Sections 8 and 9 of the Pollution Control Act, or permitted pursuant to Section 11

 

Acute pollution, cf. Chapter 6 Acute pollution

 

Other unlawful pollution

Pollution that entails violation of the Pollution Control Act and/or decisions pursuant to the Act, but which do not entail acute pollution

 



Lawful pollution
Nearly all human activity contributes to creating pollution. It is not expedient to regulate all actions that can lead to pollution. Therefore, some exemptions have been made from the prohibition against pollution. Among other things, ordinary pollution from offices, business or assembly premises, warehouses, etc. are permitted under this section. It is important to note that not every type of pollution from the listed enterprises is allowed. Only “ordinary pollution” is comprised by the exemption. The term “ordinary pollution” relates to the type of pollution, its extent and impact, and not to whether the operation or usage that creates the pollution is ordinary.
Pursuant to Section 8, last subsection, pollution that does not entail significant damage or nuisance, is low. Pollution in Section 8 refers to circumstances that regularly lead to pollution.

Pollution can be regulated in regulations. One example of this is the HSE regulations for petroleum activities.

Upon application, the pollution control authority can grant permits for polluting activity. In special cases, permits can be granted without submitting an application. A permit pursuant to Section 11, can stipulate conditions pursuant to Section 16.

Unlawful pollution

Acute pollution
In enterprises where there is danger of acute pollution, the responsible party has a duty to maintain emergency preparedness pursuant to Chapter 6 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only). If acute pollution has occurred, the duties of the responsible party include a duty to provide notification and a duty to take action. Section 38 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only) defines acute pollution as significant pollution that occurs suddenly, and that is not permitted pursuant to the provisions in, or in pursuance of, the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only).

Significant
The pollution entails or can entail damage or nuisance for the environment beyond the purely minor. Whether or not the pollution is of significance, shall be assessed in each individual case.

Occurs suddenly
The pollution occurs accidentally, as a consequence of an abnormal situation in the enterprise, or as a consequence of intentional wrongful acts. The pollution and/or the harmful effects on the environment can also be of an acute nature, even if the pollution develops gradually over a longer period of time. This can, for example, be in cases where a tank is leaking for a lengthy period.

Not permitted pursuant to the provisions in or in pursuance of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only).
Other unlawful pollution
Pollution in excess of the permitted limits that is not covered by the definition of acute pollution. This will e.g. include discharges previously referred to as excess discharges.