Impacts on subterranean fauna are assessed as part of the Environmental Protection Authority's (EPA) process to determine the environmental impacts of proposals. Although subterranean fauna has only been a key environmental factor since the mid-1990s, much has been learned in that time and about 40 major projects have included the factor. The EPA is interested in understanding the changing state of knowledge, legal and policy drivers, effectiveness of current assessment practices and potential opportunities to improve the way in which assessment is done and prepared this discussion paper.
A review of subterranean fauna assessment in Western Australia summarises developments in subterranean fauna science, how the EPA’s assessment of subterranean fauna has changed over time, concerns with current EPA guidance statements, and provides some options for the future direction of subterranean fauna assessment. The EPA invited comments on the discussion paper in March 2012.
The feedback contributed to the development of the EPA's subsequent guidance, which will provide advice to proponents on future requirements for environmental assessment of subterranean fauna.