EPA gives nod for Onslow Marine Support Base dredging

Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority has given its conditional approval for the proposal to extend the Onslow Marine Support Base.

The expansion is expected to allow offshore vessels to access the newly constructed Beadon Creek Maritime Facility. The base has been developed to provide supply and support services for onshore and offshore businesses such as logistics, fuel suppliers, waste management, and construction and maintenance companies in the Carnarvon Basin.

Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) deputy chairman Robert Harvey said after a thorough environmental assessment on the proposal’s impacts, the Authority concluded the proposed extension was environmentally acceptable and could be implemented with conditions.

“The proponent, Onslow Marine Support Base Pty Ltd, proposes to modify and extend the Beadon Creek harbor approach channel, turning basin and berth pocket which includes a significant amount of dredging,” Harvey said.

“The proponent incorporated contemporary and locally relevant dredging science from the Western Australian Marine Science Institution into its predictions and proposed management of the project’s impacts. This means we had a high level of confidence during the assessment. “The use of the latest dredging science, as well as the conditions identified by the EPA, including the implementation of a Dredging and Spoil Disposal Management Plan, means the proposal can be managed in an environmentally acceptable way.”

If approved, the proponent will dredge up to 950,000 cubic meters of sediments that will be disposed of onshore in a 44-hectare Dredge Material Management Area next to the Onslow airport. It is proposed the dredged material to be reused to develop and extend the Onslow’s light industrial area.

Onslow Marine Support Base Stage 2 builds on the first stage of development which upgraded the Beadon Creek Maritime Facility and opened in October 2017.

The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing 19 February 2018. The Minister for Environment will make the final decision.

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