EPA Statement: Level of Assessment for Vasse Coal Management’s Vasse Coal Proposal

Summary: The EPA Board considered this proposal at its meeting on 17 March 2011. The EPA determined, based on the referral information and its own investigations and inquiries, that there is adequate information to demonstrate that Vasse Coal Management’s coal mining proposal is environmentally unacceptable.

Release Date: 21 March 2011


The EPA will assess the proposal at the new level of assessment referred to in the Environmental Impact Assessment Administrative Procedures 2010of ‘Assessment on Proponent Information Category B’ (API B). This level of assessment is similar to the recently superseded level of assessment ‘Proposal Unlikely to be Environmentally Acceptable’ (PUEA).

‘In effect, this is an EPA ’no’ to the proposal,’ EPA Chairman Paul Vogel said.

‘This ‘no’ is based on the proponent’s referral information and environmental advice presented to the EPA,’ Dr Vogel said.
‘The Board considered that there is likely to be significant impacts, or risks, from the proposal on the Leederville and Sues Aquifers, and on significant environmental values, including the social surrounds of the Margaret River region, which these aquifers support’.

‘Even though some of the significant impacts, or risks, may be presented as being manageable because of their low probability of occurring, the environmental consequences of some low probability event may be so serious, widespread or irreversible that the proposal, taken as a whole, on balance, presents unacceptable risks to important environmental values, and thus makes the proposal environmentally unacceptable’.

‘Based on its experience and knowledge of the complexity of matters of this kind, the Board also formed the view that more detailed and longer assessment would not alter the position’.

‘The EPA will now prepare an assessment report to the Minister for Environment recommending against the implementation of Vasse Coal Management’s coal mining proposal.’

“This EPA Report will be released publicly and will be open for two weeks of public appeals. However there are no appeals in relation to the EPA’s decision to assess this proposal and the level of assessment determined.

Source: EPA website