Environmental Protection Bulletins

Environmental Protection Bulletins (EPBs) – formerly Position Statements – outline the view of the EPA on various environmental or procedural matters. EPBs are not statutory documents. They are fairly brief documents designed to be read by a general audience and do not contain comprehensive methodologies or implementation details.


Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 24 - Greenhouse gas emissions and consideration of projected climate change impacts in the EIA process
Summary:

Climate change is expected to have significant impacts in Western Australia (WA) in the form of temperature and sea level rises, increased fire frequency, more intense extreme events and changed rainfall patterns. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) remains concerned about the emission of greenhouse gases and believes that proponents should continue to maintain their focus on best practice design, technology and operations to ensure emissions are minimised as far as practicable.

As climatic changes are already taking place and are expected to continue, proponents of long-term projects may need to consider projected climate change impacts over the lifetime of their proposal as part of the environmental impact assessment process.

The purpose of this bulletin is to:

  • discuss the circumstances under which the EPA will assess greenhouse gas emissions associated with development proposals;
  • describe what principles the EPA will expect proposals to meet with regard to minimising greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the objectives of the Environmental Protection Act 1986; and
  • outline the EPA’s expectations for environmental impact assessment (EIA) with respect to projected climate change impacts.

Status: Final
Release Date: 29 September 2015
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Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 23 - Guidance on the EPA Landforms factor
Summary:

‘Landforms’ is one of the five factors in the ‘Land’ theme that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) uses as the basis for assessing whether a proposal or scheme’s impact on the environment is acceptable.

The objective of the Landforms factor is to maintain the variety, integrity, ecological functions and environmental values of landforms.

The purpose of this bulletin is to communicate how the Landform factor is considered by the EPA in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. This bulletin aims to provide proponents with some high level guidance on the EPA’s objective for the Landforms factor to consider when developing their proposal or scheme.


Status: Final
Release Date: 20 July 2015
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Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 22 - Hydraulic fracturing for onshore natural gas from shale and tight rocks
Summary: Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a process that uses fluids and other materials that are pumped under high pressure into gas-bearing rock formations in order to open fractures (cracks) to create a path for the gas to flow.

The purpose of this bulletin is to:

  • define the circumstances under which the EPA will assess proposals that include hydraulic fracturing;
  • outline the EPA’s expectations for EIA with respect to hydraulic fracturing activities; and
  • ensure that the EPA has sufficient information to undertake a thorough assessment of impacts and risks to the environment from proposals involving hydraulic fracturing.

The focus of this bulletin is on those activities and potential environmental impacts specifically related to hydraulic fracturing, which have not routinely been assessed by the EPA, and not on the broader range of environmental issues which may be associated with the development of gas resources from shale and tight rocks.

This bulletin replaces advice issued in 2011 (EPB 15) and reflects how the regulation around the industry has evolved over the past few years.


Status: Final
Release Date: 17 December 2014
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Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 1 - Environmental Offsets - Biodiversity
Summary:

Environmental offsets are actions that provide environmental benefits which counterbalance the significant residual environmental impacts or risks of a proposal. Unlike mitigation actions which occur on-site as part of the proposal and reduce the direct impact of that project, offsets are undertaken outside of the proposal area and counterbalance significant residual impacts.

This bulletin clarifies how the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will consider offsets through the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process.

[Updates previous version published September 2008.]

Also refer to the State Government's WA Environmental Offsets Guidelines and the WA Environmental Offsets Policy

Go to the WA Environmental Offsets Register here.

WA Environmental Offsets template: This template is for use in Environmental Review Documents where offsets are a key environmental factor. For more details on using this template, please see the WA Environmental Offsets Guidelines. [The template is provided as a zip file of an Excel spreadsheet.]


Status: Final
Release Date: 14 August 2014
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Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 21 - Guidance for wind farm developments
Summary:

This Bulletin aims to:

  • provide guidance to proponents and the public on when a wind farm proposal should be referred to the EPA;
  • encourage early engagement with the community about the siting of wind farms and their potential impacts; and
  • identify the issues that the EPA considers through environmental impact assessment.

Status: Final
Release Date: 25 February 2014
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Click here to view the document (file type: Acrobat PDF file size: 541.97 KB)

Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 20 - Protection of naturally vegetated areas through planning and development
Summary:

This bulletin sets out the EPA’s views and expectations for the design of urban and peri-urban development proposals in order to protect naturally vegetated areas.

It will help planners and developers in the integration and consideration of naturally vegetated areas during all stages of the planning process, to meet the EPA’s environmental objectives for vegetation and flora, and terrestrial fauna.

This bulletin applies to strategic planning, structure plans, new schemes and scheme amendments, subdivision and development proposals, in urban and peri-urban areas of Western Australia.

It complements the principles set out in Guidance Statement 10 (EPA, 2006), Bush Forever (WAPC, 2000 and WAPC, 2010), the Clearing Principles in Schedule 5 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, Guidance Statement 33 (EPA, 2008) and Liveable Neighbourhoods (WAPC, 2007).


Status: Final
Release Date: 4 December 2013
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Click here to view the document (file type: Acrobat PDF file size: 453.57 KB)

Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 19 - EPA involvement in mine closure
Summary:

This bulletin outlines the roles of the DMP and the EPA in mine closure and explains the circumstances when the EPA will assess mine closure.

Updated January 2015.


Status: Final
Release Date: 31 July 2013
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Click here to view the document (file type: Acrobat PDF file size: 523.88 KB)

Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 18 - Sea level rise
Summary:

The purpose of this Bulletin is to set out the EPA’s expectations for environmental impact assessment (EIA) with respect to sea level rise.

The EPA notes that

  • sea level rise may significantly alter aquatic ecosystems and coastal terrestrial ecosystems;
  • proponents are expected to use the latest climate change science and projections to consider a proposal’s impact on ecosystems likely to be affected in the future by rising sea levels;
  • proponents are expected to minimise the risks of damage to the environment from damaged infrastructure caused by sea level rise and climatic events; and
  • managing for the risk of sea level rise is important both to protect infrastructure and mitigate the impact of proposals, particularly those that have a long operational life, on a changing natural environment.

Status: Final
Release Date: 14 June 2012
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Click here to view the document (file type: Acrobat PDF file size: 314.59 KB)

Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 17 - Strategic and derived proposals
Summary:

The purpose of this bulletin is to:

  • clearly define strategic proposals and derived proposals;
  • outline the purpose and intent of the strategic and derived proposal provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, and the expected benefits and outcomes which will be achieved by assessing strategic proposals;
  • describe the assessment process for strategic proposals, and how derived proposals are determined and regulated;
  • outline the process and the EPA’s expectations for public consultation on strategic and derived proposals;
  • outline the EPA’s general approach to assessing strategic proposals and recommending conditions which should apply to derived proposals; and
  • describe the EPA’s expectations of proponents of both strategic and derived proposals to ensure that the intent and outcomes can be met.

Status: Final
Release Date: 15 February 2012
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Click here to view the document (file type: Acrobat PDF file size: 555.52 KB)

Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 16 - Minor or preliminary works or investigation work
Summary: This Bulletin is aimed at clarifying:
  • What is meant by ‘minor or preliminary works’?
  • What is meant by ‘investigation work’?
  • What information a proponent needs to submit to the EPA if it wants the EPA’s consent to undertake minor or preliminary works.

Status: Final
Release Date: 8 December 2011
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Click here to view the document (file type: Acrobat PDF file size: 729.09 KB)

Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 14 - Guidance for the assessment of benthic primary producer habitat loss in and around Port Hedland
Summary:

This Environmental Protection Bulletin provides a Local Assessment Unit and guidance for its application to the assessment of cumulative loss of benthic primary producer habitat in Port Hedland.

 Download the accompanying spatial data package here.


Status: Final
Release Date: 31 August 2011
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Click here to view the document (file type: Acrobat PDF file size: 2 MB)

Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 13 - Guidance for the use of the Albany Regional Vegetation Survey in Environmental Impact Assessment
Summary:

The Environmental Protection Authority has endorsed the Albany Regional Vegetation Survey report (Sandiford and Barrett 2010) as a key information source to guide land use planning in the Albany Region. The survey report provides information on native vegetation and flora at a regional level to assist the EPA in making informed decisions on proposals in the area.

This bulletin was reviewed and revised in December 2013

Download the Albany Regional Vegetation Survey (ARVS):

Albany Regional Vegetation Survey: Extent, type and status (pdf 5.01 Mb)

ARVS: Index of maps (pdf 429 kb)

Map 1 (pdf 1.32 Mb)Map 2 (pdf 1.06 Mb); Map 3 (pdf 1.31 Mb); Map 4 (pdf 1.86 Mb); Map 5 (pdf 1.47 Mb)

 


Status: Final
Release Date: 5 May 2011
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Click here to view the document (file type: Acrobat PDF file size: 616.75 KB)

Environmental Protection Bulletin No 12 - Swan Bioplan - Peel Regionally Significant Natural Areas
Summary:

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) endorses the use of the Swan Bioplan - Peel Regionally Significant Natural Areas (Peel RSNAs) information to guide strategic land use and conservation planning in the Peel Sector of the Swan Coastal Plain.

This bulletin was reviewed and revised in December 2013

 Download the accompanying spatial data package here. (zip 12.8 MB)


Status: Final
Release Date: 13 December 2010
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Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 11- Consultation on Conditions Recommended by the EPA
Summary:

The Environmental Protection Authority EPA has adopted a new administrative arrangement to consult proponents and key decision making authorities DMAs when the EPA is recommending implementation conditions for proposals it has assessed. This arrangement applies to the EPA and does not constrain the Minister for Environment in any way.

Updated March 2012


Status: Final
Release Date: 8 June 2010
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Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 10 - Geraldton Regional Flora and Vegetation Survey
Summary: The Environmental Protection Authority EPA has endorsed the Geraldton Regional Flora and Vegetation Survey GRFVS as a key information source to help minimise the environmental impact of future development in the Geraldton region. The survey, produced by the Western Australian Planning Commission WAPC, covers an area of more than 40,700 hectares in the City of Geraldton-Greenough and the Shire of Chapman Valley.

The Geraldton Regional Flora and Vegetation Survey is available from the Department of Planning website at http://www.planning.wa.gov.au/publications/854.asp. Maps and datasets produced through the GRFVS are available from the Department of Planning - email corporate@planning.wa.gov.au or call 08 9264 7777.
Status: Final
Release Date: 3 May 2010
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WITHDRAWN: Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 9 - Risk-based Approach to EIA - update
Summary: Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 9 - Risk-based Approach to EIA - update has been withdrawn from the EPA's policy suite. The EPB provided an update on the review process. References to a risk-based approach to EIA have been superseded by Environmental Assessment Guideline 9 Application of a significance framework in the environmental impact assessment process.
Status: Final
Release Date: 31 December 2009
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WITHDRAWN: Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 7 - Risk-based Approach to EIA - update
Summary: Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 7 - Risk-based Approach to EIA - update has been withdrawn from the EPA's policy suite. The EPB provided an update on the review process. References to a risk-based approach to EIA have been superseded by Environmental Assessment Guideline 9 Application of a significance framework in the environmental impact assessment process.
Status: Final
Release Date: 31 August 2009
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Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 6 - The Natural Values of the Whicher Scarp
Summary:

The EPA will, as required under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, continue to consider proposed developments for this area on an individual basis, however, the EPA recognises the significance of the natural values of the Whicher Scarp across a range of biodiversity characteristics at the genetic, species and community levels, and the small overall extent of the Whicher Scarp environments. Where the EPA considers a proposal is likely to pose significant risk to the outstanding natural values of the Whicher Scarp, it will be formally assessed, and/or may be considered environmentally unacceptable.

This bulletin was reviewed and revised in December 2013


Status: Final
Release Date: 10 August 2009
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Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 5 - Guidance for developing inland drainage proposals in the Wheatbelt
Summary:

More than one million hectares of broadacre farmland in WA is estimated to be currently affected by dryland salinity. Inland drainage is an option to achieve improved water resource and dryland salinity management outcomes.

This version: revised April 2014.


Status: Final
Release Date: 29 June 2009
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WITHDRAWN: Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 4 - Strategic Advice - Dawesville to Binningup
Summary: This EPB was archived on 11 November 2010. It has been superseded by Strategic Environmental Advice on the Dawesville to Binningup Area published in May 2010, Bulletin 1359.
Status: Final
Release Date: 31 May 2009
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WITHDRAWN: Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 3 - EIA Review - Interim Assessment Procedures
Summary: Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 3 EIA Review - Interim Assessment Procedures was withdrawn from the EPA's policy suite in June 2013.
Status: Final
Release Date: 31 March 2009
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Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 2 - Port Hedland Noise and Dust
Summary: In the Environmental Protection Authority's EPA Report 1311 released concurrently with this Bulletin the EPA noted in the 'Other Advice' section that while the Utah Point Berth Project Stage B proposal would lead to some local improvement in air quality and reduction in noise levels in the west end of Port Hedland, it would not result in improvements in the overall area of Port Hedland where dust and noise impacts are already of concern. As a new facility, the proposal would result in an incremental increase in dust and noise emissions to the overall air-shed of Port Hedland.
Status: Final
Release Date: 12 January 2009
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