Australia EPA committee to handle Browse LNG appeals

MELBOURNE, Aug. 2

More than 200 appeals were filed against the Western Australian Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of the Browse LNG Development.

EPA Chairman Paul Vogel in July announced approval of the Browse development plans, provided 29 strict conditions are met.

The proposed development in the Browse basin awaits more state and federal government approvals. The project would be supplied by three gas and condensate fields, Brecknock, Calliance and Torosa, 425 km north of Broome off the Kimberley coast.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd., operator of the proposed Browse joint venture, said it expects to make a final investment decision next year.

EPA set up a separate appeals committee and appointed Roy Green, former EPA deputy chairman, to direct it. Green is former chief executive of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

EPA’s approval conditions include suspension of marine pile driving and blasting at night during peak southern migration of humpback whales, limiting dredging and wharves to the precinct area, using micro-tunnelling techniques to limit coastal erosion, and implementing a marine environmental quality plan.

Other conditions stipulated that the project could not cross the shore within 900 m of James Price Point to avoid dinosaur footprints. The operation must comply with carbon tax regulations.

Joint venture partners have yet to decide where the gas will be brought ashore. Options include a new James Price Point Kimberley hub or existing operations on the Burrup Peninsula.

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