Greenpeace to EPA: Off to court – again

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Greenpeace has notified the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of legal action over its dealings with oil giant OMV’s application to drill a high risk, deep water well this summer.

Greenpeace New Zealand Executive Director Dr Russel Norman outlined the planned action to EPA Chief Executive Dr Allan Freeth today.

“Please find attached a letter notifying you of our decision to lodge a Judicial Review of the EPA’s process for dealing with OMV’s applications to drill for deep sea oil off New Zealand’s coast,” Norman wrote.

“We are in a climate and ecological emergency, and the time for polite chats behind closed doors while Government agencies condemn us to a catastrophe is well passed. So it’s off to court – again.”

On Thursday, Norman surprised participants at an EPA conference by handing his planned speaking spot over to a high school student.

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After taking to the stage, 18 year old Sorcha Carr told the government agency charged with protecting New Zealand’s environment that it had failed.

“Oil drilling has no place in Aotearoa. It threatens entire ecosystems, and the fruits of such labour threatens the future of millions of children around the world and in New Zealand,” she said.

“It’s time to stop hiding behind the greed and profit. It’s time to stand up and tell the truth. As a democratic society, we deserve to know about this process.”

Carr was referring to the EPA’s current closed-door consideration of an application by OMV to drill a high risk well in the Great South Basin, at depths similar to that of the Deepwater Horizon blow out.