Final environmental approval has been given for Chevron’s Wheatstone LNG development.
WA Environment Minister Bill Marmion said approval was granted with 25 conditions protecting marine fauna, including whales, turtles and dugongs.
Approval followed the Minister’s consultation with the ministers for State Development; Lands; Planning; and Indigenous Affairs, as required under the Environmental Protection Act 1986.
Significantly, the environmental conditions require:
· immediate suspension to dredging if coral outside defined zones is damaged
·no blasting at night during peak nesting and hatching seasons for marine turtles and no piling activity at night during the southern whale migration when humpbacks are travelling with their calves
· $13million in environmental offsets, including $3.5million over four years to improve management of critical habitats for humpback whales, dugongs and snubfin dolphins in Pilbara waters
· reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through offsetting approximately 2.6 million tonnes per year of reservoir carbon dioxide emissions.
“The State Government will continue to ensure the highest environmental standards are applied to protect the local community and its environment,” Mr Marmion said.
“This is a huge development for Western Australia. At its peak, the construction workforce for Wheatstone is expected to reach 3,000 people, in addition to a further 3,500 indirect jobs and billions of dollars in locally purchased goods and services.”
Source: wa.gov.au, August 31, 2011;