Proposed Burrup projects set for public environmental reviews

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Rock art on the Burrup Peninsula.
Camera IconRock art on the Burrup Peninsula. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Two major industrial projects planned for the Burrup Peninsula in Dampier will each go to public environmental reviews after the State’s environment regulator received hundreds of submissions calling for their impacts to be further probed.

The Environmental Protection Authority will undertake the more in-depth review process in relation to applications for a urea project from Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers and a methanol and monoethylene petrochemical plant from Coogee Chemicals, Wesfarmers and Mitsubishi Corporation after each project received more than 300 submissions during the public comment period.

The Burrup, which is the site of more than a million petroglyphs up to 50,000 years old, will be nominated for World Heritage listing and there have long been concerns about the impact emissions from nearby industrial facilities are having on the rock art, culminating in a parliamentary inquiry last year.

Preliminary EPA findings stated the proposed projects could impact Aboriginal heritage sites during clearing and construction and produce air emissions that could affect nearby rock art.

Public environmental reviews are triggered by a high level of public interest on a State-wide scale about the likely effect of a proposed project on the environment and a large number of potential environmental impacts considered to be significant or complex.

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The reviews of both projects have already begun and are expected to take 18 to 24 months.

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