Save Westernport’s article on p.10 of The Balnarring Bridge was written just before Minister Wynne announced that he would recommend against AGL’s proposal being approved by the EPA and the other decisionmakers.
On March 30, Mr Wynne released his report saying “It’s very clear to me that this project would cause unacceptable impacts on the Western Port environment and the Ramsar wetlands – it’s important that these areas are protected.”
Minister Wynne remains unconvinced that AGL could effectively manage the environmental effects of releasing chlorinated wastewater into Westernport Bay,
While the EPA is yet t q 1o make their assessment on April 30. It’s extremely unlikely their report will deviate from the Minister’s assessment. As the body responsible for environmental protection in Victoria, one of their major concerns has been whether AGL could manage to operate the enormous heat exchange needed to regasify LNG, without breaching State Environment Protection Policy, or SEPP waters laws forbidding the release of wastewater from industry into waterways.
In 2019 AGL sought to have the SEPP laws changed to accommodate their proposal. When that was unsuccessful, they tried to claim that the release of their wastewater would be beneficial to Westernport’s marine ecology.
When the IAC hearing for the EES concluded in Dec 2020, the EPA issued AGL with a Section 22 request for further information about their application to dump chlorinated wastewater from their operations. AGL was unable to fully comply with the Section 22 request, and failed supply all the information requested before the EPA deadline.