The Senate has agreed to give the Commonwealth Environment Minister broader approval powers over coal seam gas projects and large coal mines.

The 'Water Trigger' amendment to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act allows the Federal Environment Minister to consider the impact of CSG projects and large coal mines on water resources, in deciding whether or not to they should be approved.

It passed the Senate with the support of all parties, despite unsuccessful Opposition and Greens attempts to further amend the legislation.

The bill, championed by independent NSW MP Tony Windsor, passed the House of Representatives in March.

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