K+S Salt Australia has continued to build on its commitment to local Traditional Owners, with the completion of the first in a series of Cultural Heritage surveys on the AshburtonRead more
K+S Salt Australia welcomes the EPA Cumulative Impact Report
K+S Salt Australia has welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority’s report
into the cumulative impacts of proposed developments on and near the Exmouth Gulf, including higher protection for areas to the south of the proposed salt project.
The report has recommended the Exmouth Gulf should receive increased protection from the government and that any future activities and development be compatible with the protection of the social, environmental, and cultural values of the region.
Located near Onslow, the Ashburton Salt project was included in the EPA’s study into potential future cumulative impacts.
“We have engaged with the EPA throughout the study process, including sharing early baseline data which we have collected during the past five years” said K+S Salt Australia Managing Director Gerrit Gödecke.
“The concerns and potential impacts noted in the report are consistent with those we identified as part of our engagement with Traditional Owners, stakeholders and the communities of Onslow and Exmouth.
“This is why we have taken so long and worked so hard to design a project that minimises interface with the Gulf and environmental impacts as a whole, including cutting the proposed footprint by some 30%.,” Mr Gödecke added.
Importantly for the Ashburton Salt project, while the EPA called for areas of the southern and eastern portion of the Exmouth Gulf to have higher levels of protection, this did not include the proposed Ashburton Salt project site.
“We always knew these areas to the south were sensitive which is why we voluntarily removed these from our project many years ago,” Mr Gödecke said.
“Our project is not located on the proposed Giralia National Park.”
“We support moves to protect the land to the south and other moves to protect the Gulf and look forward to the EPA’s assessment of our project.
ABOUT THE EPA’S CUMULATIVE IMPACT ASSESSMENT
In August 2020, the WA Environment Minister asked the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to conduct a cumulative environmental impact study regarding current and proposed activities with the potential to impact the Exmouth Gulf.
All proposed developments for the area, including the proposed Ashburton Salt project, would not be assessed until the study, which included engaging with the community of Exmouth and other stakeholders, was complete.
The study involved face-to-face engagement with stakeholders and the Exmouth community, public consultation periods and targeted meetings with local government, business and traditional owners.
The EPA strategic advice, including three key recommendations, has been delivered to the Minister for Environment.
K+S Salt Australia has been working closely with the EPA to provide research results to support the assessment process.