The Environmental Protection Authority has set an Environmental Protection Statement level of assessment and released its recommendations on a proposal by the Water Corporation of Western Australia to construct and operate a 30 gigalitres per annum desalination plant at either the Kwinana Power Station or on the corner of Patterson and Office Roads, East Rockingham.Release Date:
8 October 2002Details:
The Environmental Protection Authority has set an Environmental Protection Statement level of assessment and released its recommendations on a proposal by the Water Corporation of Western Australia to construct and operate a 30 gigalitres per annum desalination plant at either the Kwinana Power Station or on the corner of Patterson and Office Roads, East Rockingham.
The EPA was advised of the proposal in April 2002, based on the desalination plant being a possible water supply option under drought emergency circumstances.
The link with emergency water supply options has been removed by the Water Corporation as a result of dam storage levels not triggering an emergency response.
EPA Chairman Bernard Bowen said that the EPA considers the proposal can be managed in an acceptable manner subject to the proponent's commitments being made legally binding.
"The proposed discharges from the plant will comply with the Cockburn Sound Environmental Protection Policy," Mr Bowen said.
"Marine water quality will be protected by ensuring that contaminants in the seawater discharge are minimised and rapid dilution at the outfall should mitigate elevated salinity and temperature levels.
"Construction effects relating to the intake and outfall structures should be very limited in area and duration, and best practice design should avoid affects on biota."
The East Rockingham proposal incorporates a 20 megawatt gas-fired power station while the Kwinana Power Station plant would be drawing its energy requirements from the existing Western Power integrated system.
"Greenhouse and nitrogen oxides emissions are not expected to be large," Mr Bowen said.
"The predicted maximum concentration of nitrogen oxides is significantly below the relevant National Environmental Protection Measure."
The desalination plant at either site will generate noise, primarily from the high-pressure pumps associated with the reverse osmosis process.
"Both sites are located within the Kwinana Industrial Area and the Water Corporation has committed to design the plant to achieve noise levels below the assigned levels in the Noise
Regulations, consistent with current noise reduction efforts being undertaken by the Kwinana Industry Council," Mr Bowen said.
The Water Corporation has made a commitment to prepare a Flora and Fauna Management Plan. This would be aimed at protecting vegetation, Declared Rare and Priority Flora and Fauna by conducting a survey of product pipeline routes to determine final alignments to Tamworth Hill Reservoir alongside Lake Cooloongup.
During the preparation of the Environmental Protection Statement, the proponent has undertaken consultation with government agencies and companies with a direct interest in the project and other key stakeholders including:
- Conservation Council of Western Australia (Inc);
- Cockburn Sound Management Council;
- Water and Rivers Commission;
- EPA Services Unit;
- Kwinana Progress Association;
- Naragebup Environmental Centre;
- Recfish West;
- Town of Kwinana;
- City of Rockingham;
- City of Cockburn; and,
- Kwinana Industries Council.
The Environmental Protection Statement level of assessment and the EPA's report on the Water Corporation's proposal are subject to appeal until close of business Monday 21 October 2002.
The EPA's report is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au. A copy of the Environmental Protection Statement is available from the Water Corporation or on the Water Corporation's web site at www.watercorporation.com.au.
Media contact: Charlie Maling ph 9222 7062 or mobile 0400 866 450.Status: