Australia: No full environmental impact study needed on BHP Billiton's rejigged Olympic Dam expansion plan, says Premier

The alternative technologies now being investigated by BHP had "always been contemplated", Mr Weatherill said.

While there still would be hundreds of individual approvals required as BHP Billiton finalised its reconfigured plan, existing approvals - extended yesterday to 2016 - covered the changes.

"The overarching principle is this - this expansion will operate in accordance with the highest environmental standards supervised by an independent Environment Protection Authority," he said.

Mr Weatherill was speaking at Wingfield mineral processing laboratory Bureau Veritas Amdel.

Thailand: Chevron port plan under attack

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked a state planning body to review its approval of an environmental impact study for the controversial Chevron port project.

The NHRC issued the request after holding a forum in Tha Sala district to hear the opinions of local residents, fishermen and authorities on Tuesday.

Residents, including fishermen, have opposed the planned construction of Chevron's port in tambon Klai of Tha Sala district, saying it would damage their livelihoods.

Thailand: Developers welcome proposed streamlining

They reacted positively to the proposal by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) to revise the application process for environmental impact assessment. Rather than having to apply for EIA approval from an expert panel, developers would be required instead to comply with a full environmental checklist under the supervision of local authorities, which are in charge of issuing construction licences.

Thai Condominium Association president Thamrong Panyasakul-wong said such a move would bring about a new standard practice for condo developers.

Malaysia: Toll operators urged to clear their waste

The Malaysian Highway Authority is urging toll concessionaires to step up their environmental conservation efforts and obtain MS ISO 14000 certification to prove their commitment.

Its director-general Datuk Ismail Md Salleh said while operators currently have to obtain an Enviromental Impact Assessement (EIA) report before building new expressways, it still left the question of the impact of other elements of highways would have in the long run.

Vietnam: No decision on Dong Nai 6, Dong Nai 6A plants

Dong Nai Province’s authorities earlier ruled out the plants but the investor, Duc Long Gia Lai Group, is still pushing for the projects.

Answering National Assembly (NA) deputies a few days ago, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has yet to announce a deadline for assessment and approval of the environmental impact assessment reports.

Hong Kong: Hearings begin on controversial incinerator plan

The High Court on Wednesday began a three-day hearing of a judicial review, challenging the government's plan to build a HK$1.5 billion waste incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau island, south of Lantau.

The case was filed by Leung Hon-wai, a resident on the island, despite the fact that the previous administration had put the proposal on hold after failing to obtain the necessary funding from the Legislative Council's Panel on Environmental Affairs in April.

Taiwan: Groups protest against sacrifice of environmental impact system

Environmental protection organizations protested the government's perceived sacrifice of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) system in favor of investors at a press conference in front of the Executive Yuan yesterday.

The Green Party Taiwan (GPT), one of the participating organizations, said “inappropriate industrial policies are the main issue causing the downfall of the economy. Instead, the government intends to lower the standards of environmental protection to attract foreign capital to invest in Taiwanese businesses.”

Thailand: Condo opponents plan Supreme Court appeal

The residents had filed a lawsuit against the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), which had approved the 100-page environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Sense condominium, which was developed by Suparaj Development Limited Company.

The Central Administrative Court ruled that the ONEP's panel of environmental experts had followed the law by hearing testimonies from relevant parties, including representatives from the developer and local residents. The court also ruled that the construction permit for the project complied with the law.