Your chance to comment! West Erregulla Gas Processing Plant and Pipeline
The EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) are seeking public feedback on plans for a gas production project in the Mid West, adjacent to farmland between Dongara, Mingenew and Three Springs.
Comments must be lodged by Thursday night, 10 June 2021.
You can do that online here: https://consultation.epa.wa.gov.au/seven-day-comment-on-referrals/erregulla-plant-pipeline/consultation/intro/
Make sure you tick Assess - Public Environmental Review on the form.
What is being proposed?
The project constitutes a significant expansion of onshore gasfields in WA, alongside the nearby Waitsia Gas Plant in the Mid West south east of Geraldton. This gas processing plant, which will be classified as a Major Hazard Facility, will process gas from new wells that Strike Energy and Warrego Energy are developing in the surrounding area, and transport the gas to the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP). Fracking is not banned in the petroleum exploration lease covering and surrounding this project.
If it all goes ahead, the proponent ‘AGI Operations’, says it will run for at least 60 years. This means expanding gas wells for that time, with a very high likelihood of having to frack to get at the unconventional gas in the area once the conventional gas dries up.
The gas plant will use groundwater from the Yarragadee Aquifer, use hazardous materials, and create air pollution.
The proposal includes a gas processing facility , a 16.5 km interconnecting buried gas pipeline, and supporting infrastructure for the pipeline, power generation, flare system (burning off of gas), incinerator, fire water system, water treatment package, and back-up diesel system in an area of 213 ha.
The EPA is asking the public IF they should assess it, and at which level. The highest level of assessment is a Public Environmental Review, which would ensure the assessment isn’t just a private affair between the gas industry and the EPA, and community members and independent organisations can also review the project.
Here are some things you might want to raise in your comment about why you want a PER.
Make sure you tick Assess - Public Environmental Review on the form. Then click Continue, and then Submit on the next page.
- It will take millions if not billions of litres of groundwater from the Yarragadee Aquifer, which is a water resource relied upon by rural and urban communities across the Mid West, the Wheatbelt and even Perth. The company has stated it will drain at least 438,000,000 litres from one bore, but also mentions additional water from ‘other sources’, so the total amount is completely unknown and could be much much higher. There is also a risk of water contamination. We can’t afford to risk this crucial resource.
- The company has not submitted anything regarding air quality to the EPA. An air quality assessment must include health-damaging fine particulate pollution with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less (known as PM2.5). With a gas processing plant (that will operate as a Major Hazard Facility) and supporting infrastructure, including the well sites with their infrastructure (cumulative impacts) there will be significant PM2.5 emissions. An Operations Environment Plan must be assessed by the EPA.
- Social surroundings (ie neighbouring farms and communities) will be impacted by noise, vibration, dust and light due to a large increase in truck and other vehicles and the construction and operation of the gas plant and pipeline. There is also an increased fire risk. These impacts must be assessed.
- There is no modelling of the likely substantial escape of fugitive methane emissions , which in Australia are underestimated compared to actual figures from US gasfields. This project will lead to large deliberate and fugitive emissions of methane, adding to climate change. Gas is not needed or useful as a source of energy: we have the technology we need to replace gas with renewable energy sources.
- Gas plants and gasfields are harmful to health.
- It will clear close to 100 hectares of native bushland, fragmenting this very biodiverse landscape, home to unique and threatened birds and mammals.
Add a little about where you live and why you care about this area to personalise it!
Click continue, then Submit on the second page to complete your comment.
See all the Supporting Documentation that the company has submitted so far on the EPA website here, under 1. Referral (click on it to see).