Environmental Impact Statement formal studies begin

In late January, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was gazetted as the assessment level needed for the Northern Water project planning approvals.

An EIS is the most stringent development assessment process in Australia.

Work to prepare a comprehensive EIS including assessing and evaluating environmental, social, and economic benefits and impacts before formal referral to the federal government, and public notification of the outcome.

Project Director; Mike Morgan said an important element of the EIS is to assess any potential impacts the project could have on the marine life at Cape Hardy.

“A series of rigorous environmental investigations based on scientifically robust historical and current data, will guide an informed decision on whether to proceed with construction of the project,” he said.

“Current studies include marine ecology surveys, marine water quality studies, flora and fauna surveys, underwater noise and vibration studies, and marine hydrodynamic modelling, and many others.

“Scientists and technical experts will be on site and in the water over the coming months gathering this essential information to help inform the environmental assessments.

“We’re committed to minimising the environmental impacts of the project, and this baseline data will play an important role in shaping the impact assessment, designing a sustainable long-term environmental monitoring program, and establishing benchmarks to ensure minimal environmental impacts.

“Where impacts can’t be avoided, we’re actively exploring opportunities for offsetting or achieving a positive environmental impact,” said Mr Morgan.

“Northern Water remains committed to ongoing community involvement in the project and fostering environmentally and socially responsible practices.

“Cultural heritage and native title agreements with Traditional Owners will be a key part of project consent and the way the project can positively address the water needs of the region.”

“It’s really important for us to hear the concerns and ideas of those who’ll benefit from or might be affected by the project. The best ways for people to share their thoughts is through our YourSAy page or by email,” said Mr Morgan.

“And of course, people are welcome to stop by for a chat when they see us out and about in the community.”

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