The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has finished assessing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Katherine to Gove Gas Pipeline.

The proposal by Alcan Gove Pty Ltd to construct and operate a buried 600km gas pipeline from a connection, up to 35km south of Katherine, to the alumina refinery located at Gove, north-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory would provide a source of natural gas and help underpin the long-term energy supply to the operations at Gove.

Chair of the NT EPA, Dr Bill Freeland, says under the Environmental Assessment Act the NT EPA has considered the environmental issues associated with the project and is satisfied the issues have been adequately identified.

“Appropriate environmental management of some of these issues have been resolved through the EIA process, while the remainder will be addressed through monitoring and management actions detailed in issue-based management plans under the provisions of the Energy Pipelines Act.

“The NT EPA considers that the Katherine to Gove Gas Pipeline can be managed in a manner that avoids unacceptable environmental impacts provided that the commitments, safeguards and recommendations detailed in the EIS, the NT EPA’s Assessment Report and in the final management plans approved by the Department of Mines and Energy, are implemented and subject to regular reporting and compliance auditing,” Dr Freeland said.

As per the Environmental Assessment Act, the NT EPA has provided the Assessment Report to the Minister for Lands, Planning and the Environment, along with recommendations on the appropriate environmental management and mitigation of potential impacts from the project.

The Minister is now required to provide the Assessment Report to the Minister for Mines and Energy (under the Act, “the responsible Minister”), together with any written comments made by the Minister for Lands, Planning and the Environment in relation to this Report.

The responsible Minister, taking into consideration the Assessment Report, will then make a determination as to whether or not a licence under the Energy Pipelines Act will be issued for the Project and if so, the conditions that may be applied.

Assessment Report 73 for the Katherine to Gove Gas Pipeline project is now available at www.ntepa.nt.gov.au/environmental-assessments/assessment/register/katherine-to-gove-gas-pipeline or by calling the Environmental Assessment Unit on (08) 8924 4020. The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has completed the assessment of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Katherine to Gove Gas Pipeline.

Michelle Goldsmith

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