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EPA recommends Gorgon LNG expansion

LNG Industry,

The Australia Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended Chevron Australia’s proposal to increase the footprint of the Gorgon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Development for conditional approval.

The proposal aims to undertake clearing and earthworks of an additional 32 hectares on Barrow Island for additional construction laydown and operations support to the existing Gorgon project.

EPA Chairman Paul Vogel explained that the proposal was assessed to determine if the existing conditions on the development could be applied to the revised footprint.

"The EPA’s assessment was an opportunity to re-examine the established management plans and the measures the proponent [Chevron] has taken to avoid, minimise and rectify impacts to flora, vegetation and fauna including selecting a site that avoided Boodie warrens and raptor nests," Vogel said.

"The EPA concluded that the conditions set out in the original approval are effective in managing impacts and should be implemented for the additional development."

However, the EPA also recommended an additional condition to offset the significant residual impacts of clearing 32 hectares of the nature reserve, including habitat for specially protected fauna. The authority has recommended extending the established Threatened Species Translocation and Reintroduction Program, from 12 to 14 years.

Vogel explained: "This offset represents a 10% increase in the contribution, which is equal to the approximately 10% increase in the project footprint from 300 hectares to 332 hectares."

Vogel said Chevron had also committed to rehabilitate land within the development area when no longer required to support construction and operation of the Gorgon project.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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