The Environmental Protection Authority has set an Environmental Protection Statement EPS level of assessment and released its recommendations to Environment Minister David Templeman on a proposal by Origin Energy Resources Limited to conduct drilling of the Freshwater Point 1 petroleum exploration well within Beekeepers Nature Reserve, 40km south of Dongara.Release Date:
10 December 2007Details:
The Environmental Protection Authority has set an Environmental Protection Statement (EPS) level of assessment and released its recommendations to Environment Minister David Templeman on a proposal by Origin Energy Resources Limited to conduct drilling of the Freshwater Point 1 petroleum exploration well within Beekeepers Nature Reserve, 40km south of Dongara.
EPA Chairman, Paul Vogel, said the Authority considered that the proposal described can be managed in an acceptable manner subject to the recommended conditions being made legally binding.
"The proposal can be managed to meet the EPA's environmental objectives, provided there is satisfactory implementation by the proponent of its Weed and Dieback Environmental Management Plan, its Rehabilitation Management Plan and its commitment to rehabilitate both reserve borrow pits," Dr Vogel said.
"The EPA considers that successful rehabilitation is of such importance that a rehabilitation performance bond to the value of $65,000 should be imposed."
Under the government's "No mining in national parks" policy, mineral and petroleum exploration and production is allowed in nature reserves not of class A, subject to environmental assessment and subject to petroleum projects delivering a net environmental benefit.
The EPA notes there are an increasing number of proposals for resource extraction in Beekeepers Nature Reserve, including both petroleum projects and extractive industry projects. It will be important to ensure that the conservation values of the nature reserve are not adversely impacted by this development activity. To this end it is essential that proposals in the area be planned, sited and managed so as to avoid or minimise cumulative impacts to native vegetation. Should residual impacts remain then appropriate environmental offset measures need to be considered with the aim of ensuring there is no nett loss of biodiversity values.
"Any proposal for petroleum production will require separate approvals and thus referral to the EPA for assessment," Dr Vogel said.
The EPA's report, available at www.epa.wa.gov.au, is subject to appeal until close of business 24 December 2007. The EPS document is available at www.originenergy.com.au. Appeals will be considered by the Independent Appeals Convenor (9221 8711). As the EPS level of assessment has been set subsequent to appeals there are no further appeals on the level of assessment.
The final decision will be made by the Minister for the Environment.
EPA media contact Charlie Maling 6467 5415, 0400 866 450Status: