Posted on October 26, 2015
The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has considered the Port Melville project and decided that no further assessment is required under the Environmental Assessment Act.
Chair of the NT EPA Bill Freeland says the determination comes after a detailed consideration of the port components, including those yet to be constructed in the lease area along with the current operation of Port Melville.
Port Melville, which is 122km north of Darwin has been established for the export of woodchips as well as providing shipping facilities for the construction and future operation of oil and gas fields.
Dr Freeland says the NT EPA considered the environmental risks associated with Port Melville and decided the project can be managed in a manner that avoids significant environmental impact, provided all previous commitments and safeguards by the port operators are implemented and remain subject to regular monitoring, auditing and review.
He says because of the high level of interest in the Port Development, the NT EPA is making public the Statement of Reasons for its decision.
“The NT EPA has prepared a detailed statement of reasons supporting our decision, which includes recommendations to the Port proponent about protection for the Port area’s environmental values, covering marine turtles, dugong, seabirds, sediment and erosion control, heritage issues and potential for hydrocarbon spills.’
Dr Freeland says the NT EPA will maintain a close supervisory role over the project and will need to be notified of any future upgrades or changes to the wharf or any other component of Port Melville that may alter the environmental significance of the development.
The Australian Government Department of the Environment is also considering the operation of Port Melville under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.