In 2011, the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project welcomed environmental approval from the State and Commonwealth Governments, which were important milestones in the regulatory process. Following these approvals, a Final Investment Decision was announced on 26 September, 2011.
The environmental assessment for the Wheatstone Project was the result of extensive research, engagement with communities and government agencies, and contributions from independent experts.
environmental impact statement (EIS) / environmental review and management plan (ERMP)
The environmental assessment process for the Wheatstone Project began in September 2008 when it was formally referred to the then Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the then Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Both departments agreed to a coordinated environmental assessment, requiring a single Draft EIS/ERMP document.
After assessing the Environmental Impact Referral Document, DEWHA and the EPA determined that the proposed project should be formally assessed at the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Environmental Review and Management Programme (ERMP) levels, respectively.
To support the assessment process, a number of detailed scientific surveys and studies were undertaken for a variety of marine, terrestrial and socio-economic and cultural factors identified during scoping. The information collected provided a baseline with which to inform the assessment of potential impacts to marine, terrestrial and socio-economic and cultural environments resulting from project development.
Chevron implemented a risk-based approach for environmental impact assessment at the request of the EPA. The risk-based approach enabled the potential impacts or hazards associated with project activities to be evaluated on the basis of potential risk to the environment.
Chevron Australia prepared the Draft EIS/ERMP in accordance with the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the Western Australian Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) as well as the project specific guidelines provided by the EPA and DEWHA and as set out in the Environmental Scoping Document (Chevron Australia 2009).
The Draft EIS/ERMP was released and made available for public comment 26 July - 4 October 2010.