Environment review released for West Australia’s 2nd desalination plant

Western Australia’s Water Corporation released an environmental review of its proposed Southern Seawater Desalination Plant at Binningup on 3 February 2009 following approval by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage & the Arts.

Project director Nick Churchill said the federal approval document, known as the Commonwealth Public Environmental Review (PER), would be open for submissions for six weeks until 17 March 2009.

“This Commonwealth PER specifically addresses matters of national significance protected under the Environmental Protection & Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, including Carnabys Black-Cockatoos, Western Ringtail Possums and whales to mention a few,” he said. “The state Public Environmental Review took into account minimisation and mitigation strategies for all potential environmental impacts.”

Currently the Corporation was waiting for a state environmental approval decision from the Minister for Environment.

Churchill said the Corporation was required to gain both state and federal (commonwealth) environmental approval before construction work could begin on the 137,000 m³/d plant. “While we cannot award the Alliance contract or start on-site construction until full environmental approvals are granted, we are on track for an immediate start should we receive all required approvals.”

An open day has been scheduled for Wednesday, 25 February 2009 at the Binningup Water Sports Centre to allow community members an opportunity to discuss the Commonwealth PER with project team members.