The WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has released its
'Review of the Environmental Impact Assessment Process in
Western Australia' which contains recommendations for the
reform of the State's impact assessment processes. The key
recommendations of the review are as follows:
Imposition of a risk-based approach to environmental impact
Increased parallel processing with other assessment and
approval processes to improve timeliness.
Reduction in the levels of assessment from five to two to
simplify the assessment process.
Revision of memorandums of understanding with other government
agencies to adopt a risk-based approach to determining the
activities that require referral to the EPA.
The EPA has commenced implementation of a number of the
Yeelirrie Uranium Mine
On 15 June 2009, the EPA determined that the Yeelirrie open cut
uranium mine and associated infrastructure should be assessed at
the level of Environmental Review and Management Programme with a
10 week public review period. This is the highest possible level of
environmental impact assessment and is reserved for proposals of
State interest that raise a number of significant environmental
issues requiring detailed assessment.
Yeelirrie is the first uranium mine to be referred to the EPA
for assessment since the Liberal State government lifted the ban on
uranium mining. The EPA's determination provides an indication
of the high level of scrutiny that will be applied to future
EPA Releases Report On Sinosteel Proposal
The EPA has released 'Report 1328: Koolanooka-Blue Hills
Direct Shipping Ore Mining Project' on the proposal by
Sinosteel Midwest Corporation Limited to mine hematite ore at
Koolanooka Hills and at two locations at Mungada (part of the Blue
The EPA recommended to the Minister for the Environment that the
majority of Sinosteel's proposal was capable of being
implemented, subject to the imposition of environmental conditions.
However, the EPA was against mining of the Mungada East project on
the grounds that the proposed mine could not be managed to meet the
EPA's objectives for the conservation of biodiversity and
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