EPA approves natural gas pipeline in Pilbara, Western Australia
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended environmental approval of a natural gas pipeline proposal on the Burrup Peninsula in the Pilbara region, subject to conditions including the protection of internationally significant Aboriginal rock art.
The proponent, DDG Operations Pty Ltd, proposes to develop and operate the Pluto North West Shelf Interconnector – a 3.3 kilometre buried steel pipeline within the Dampier to Bunbury Gas Pipe Line Corridor to connect the Pluto Liquefied Natural Gas plant and Karratha Gas Plant.
The environmental assessment included targeted consultation with key Indigenous stakeholders for the Burrup Peninsula (Murujuga) and the proponent to avoid potential disturbance to archaeological and ethnographic sites during construction.
The EPA has recommended a condition requiring the implementation of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan to ensure the proposal does not cause long-term impacts on Aboriginal heritage values.
EPA Chair Tom Hatton said it was the EPA’s view that impacts to the key environmental factors were manageable, provided the recommended conditions were imposed so the proposal did not have long-term impacts on Aboriginal heritage values or significant flora and fauna.
“The EPA’s assessment of the proposal as a whole took into account the impacts to the key environment factors of Social Surrounds (aboriginal heritage and culture), Flora and Vegetation and Terrestrial Fauna and the proponent’s proposed mitigation measures,” Dr Hatton said.
The EPA also recommended a condition requiring implementation of a Construction Environmental Management Plan to minimise impacts from construction activities to the Burrup Peninsula and to significant fauna likely to be in the area, in particular the Northern quoll and Pilbara olive python.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a fourteen-day public appeal period, closing 18 June 2019.