Draft DEWCP and EPA guidance on managing acid sulfate soils



Cover

Overview

Guidelines

Referral to EPA

Source of Information

Glossary

App. 1: Checklist

 

Draft DEWCP and EPA guidance on managing acid sulfate soils

3 Referral to the EPA

3.1 Referral of a proposal to the EPA under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986

With respect to the issue of acid sulfate soils, a proposal associated with only minor potential environmental impacts that may be readily managed in the opinion of DEWCP by conditions that will be imposed by the decision-making authority is not likely to require referral to the EPA under Section 38 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. Of course, if the proposal is associated with other potential impacts that may adversely affect the environment in a significant way, referral of the proposal to the EPA may be appropriate. The issue of environmental significance is discussed in the Environmental Impact Assessment Administrative Procedures 2002. (All planning schemes and their amendments are required to be referred to the EPA.)

The EPA considers that proposals or schemes should not proceed if they are associated with the potential for a significant impact on the environment that cannot be mitigated satisfactorily. However, should a decision-making authority not wish to refuse the application, referral to the EPA should be considered.

Proposals that are likely to require referral to the EPA include those where leachate from acid sulfate soils may directly or indirectly affect:

  • Native bushland areas of high conservation significance;

  • Significant wetlands;

  • Waterways;

  • Groundwater regimes that support the above and/or are used for public drinking water supply or other significant use;

  • Any other environments with high conservation values; and

  • Human health, activities and amenity - if the impacts may be significant.

3.2 Triggers for formal assessment of a scheme or proposal

The EPA may decide to set a formal level of assessment on a scheme or proposal that may lead to the disturbance of acid sulfate soils, where a significant impact on the environment is likely as outlined in Section 3.1.

3.3 Information required at the time of referral

Where a scheme or proposal referred to the EPA may be associated with the disturbance of acid sulfate soils, information that may assist the EPA to set an appropriate level of assessment on the referral, includes:

  • The results of any desktop and onsite field tests, or laboratory tests that indicate the likelihood of acid sulfate soils;

  • Any further proposed investigations that the proponent expects to carry out;

  • The potential impacts on the physical environment and biota, and human health and activities;

  • The proposed management of any acid sulfate soil, and actions to avoid or minimise adverse impacts on the environment and human interests;

  • Advice on any consultation carried out with stakeholders, government agencies and experts; and

  • The statutory approvals required before the referral may be implemented.


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