Preparing a Planning Submission
Preparing a Planning Submission
The Western Coal Services Project is one of the projects integrated in the architectural development plan of the Australian federal government. This scheme, which is in the central west region of the New South Wales (NSW), comprises of various features within its infrastructure (Air Quality). In terms of ownership and facilitation of the main proceedings, the Centennial Coal Company is in charge of facilitating the implementation of these proposals. As documented in the development plan, this corporation intends to expand the physical and operational aspects of the coal project with a major emphasis on the Western Coalfield. By use of a development approval from the national environmental agency, the management of Centennial Coal Company will expand its processing and supply capacity through additional infrastructural elements in its current and suggested proceedings (Western Coal Services Project).
Based on the possible effects of the operations and products to the public, the NSW Planning and Infrastructure (P& I) has evaluated the practicability and benefits of the proposal based on the stipulations in Section 79C of the EP&A Act. In the EP&A Act, this business proposal is in Section 89C as the State Significant Development (Western Coal Services Project). Some of the environmental concerns addressed in this evaluation include air quality, noise pollution, and the impact of these operations on the health of the general population. Other aspects include the possible reduction of value for private and public properties and the overall effects on nearby developments including mining activities and production of electric power. The conclusions of the P&I evaluations report indicate that the impacts of implementing the suggested developments on this coal project would not instigate substantial environmental effects as compared to the impacts of the current proceedings (Objectives, Achievements and Priorities in Environment, Conservation and Heritage 22).
One of the possible environmental effects of this proposal relates to noise pollution. This is in line with the assessments made regarding the arguments presented by proponents and those who opposed this proposal. This development covers a relatively large area with the nearby residential regions including the Blackmans Flat, Wallerawang, and Lidsdale (Air Quality). The level of sleep disturbance instigated by the operations of the coal project surpasses the recommended feature of 45 dB (A) LA1 (1 minute). The noise from the trucks and conveyors is also a major contributor to the environmental pollution caused by these developmental proceedings. Moreover, the executors of this project may have to use blasting techniques to obtain materials required to establish the Castlereagn Highway flyover (Western Coal Services Project). As indicated by the opposition of this proposal, such activities will not only increase the noise effects but it may also result in vibrations and subsequent earthquakes.
In addition, the threat of these activities on the flora and fauna of the surrounding regions is one of the environmental aspects evaluated by the P&I of the New South Wales zone. While the surveys conducted by this national agency indicate minimal effects on the habitat, Eucalyptus aggregate (Black Gum) is one of the threatened species owing to the operations of the coal project. Moreover, the number of owl species in forested areas around the proposed region of development may reduce owing to the reduction of black gums and other trees that act as habitat for these creatures (Western Coal Services Project). Nonetheless, there are various positive impacts attributed to the coal project. This includes the increase of water resources especially due to the possible blasting activities.
Desirable Environmental Contributions
Proponents of the proposed measures embedded in the coal project argue that the benefits of this developmental scheme surpass its negative impacts on the environment. To begin with, the project will increase the surface and underground water resources as an individual project and as part of other developmental proceedings in this geological zone. This is through the suggestions made by the Centennial Coal Company regarding the quality and quantity of these water resources. For example, the development programs will include the identification and maintenance of water catchments areas by separating them from water sources that are unsafe for human consumption (Tisdell 50). Managing the clean and dirty water systems will be beneficial to the residents of this area as highlighted by the proponents of this project proposal.
Other suggestions indicating the positive impact of the coal project on the environment with reference to water resources include the installation of a residue reservoir with a volume capacity of 15 mega-liters. This will be effective in containing the runoff from the operations of the coal project. Likewise, with the approval of the relevant environmental agencies in New South Wales, Centennial Coal Company seeks to shift the discharge point of the coal project from LDP006 to the spillway located on the walls of Cooks Dam. In addition, the advocates of this project indicate that the scheme will aid in maintaining the natural habitation in the region. This is evident from the assessment report, which explains that the coal project will cause minimal interference on the forested area of the Black Sally (Air Quality). The augmented water sources and reservoirs will enhance the enlargement of this forested zone and the subsequent increase in the flora and fauna species.
In addition to these suggestions, there are other viable and suitable submissions made by Centennial Coal Company, the general populace, and government agencies with the main aim of improving the scheme and increasing its benefits to the economic and environmental elements of the community. This includes the proposed efforts of managing the land structure by using environmentally friendly initiatives. One such approach is the use of biological and cultural methods of controlling weeds as well as the inspections conducted on undomesticated animals. Consideration of these suggestions will aid in promoting the environmental conservation activities conducted at the local and national platforms. For example, the flora rehabilitation programs by use of Eucalyprus cannonii seeds will increase the forested zone of Black Sally (Water).
In line with the environmental management programs facilitated by the Centennial Coal Company with reference to the coal project under consideration, P&I has recommended certain measures as a way of reducing the level of noise pollution instigated by the operations of this company. This includes the implementation of supplementary mitigation techniques such as air conditioning and double-glazing especially in the residential areas. Moreover, maintenance of the company’s equipments and the formulation of a comprehensive Noise Management Plan including an alert system in trucks and a temperature inversion monitor will aid in managing the possible noise impacts of the coal project. In addition, P&I emphasize on the need to involve the neighbouring community in managing such effects (Water). Conducting frequent interactive sessions with the main intent of evaluating complaints related to noise pollution as well as applicable recommendations should be part of the detailed Noise Management Plan.
Justification for Approval
Based on the benefits of the coal project in increasing the production and distribution of these products to the existing market segment and the creation of other new trading subsections, it is right to approve this scheme (Western Coal Services Project). However, in order to balance the benefits acquired from the coal project and the promotion of human welfare, it is important to condition the scheme through the drafted conditions of consent. To begin with, the management of this project should ensure that they compensate satisfactorily for the interference of public and private properties. This is in accordance with the provisions in the conditions of consent under the section of the Protection of Public Infrastructure. It requires the applicant to reimburse the costs incurred from relocating any form of public infrastructure for development purposes (Biodiversity Conservation Research: Australia’s Priorities 12).
Additionally, as stated in SCSS, the management of the coal project should ensure that it engages in activities that depict environmental conservation. The conditions of consent, which relate to the implementation of the scheme’s plan, comprise of practical activities that enhance environmental conservation (Mining Law in New South Wales: A Discussion Paper 37). This includes ensuring that all equipments operate effectively in order to reduce noise pollution. This should be part of the broader water, air, and noise management scheme. Furthermore, the management of the coal project should initiate programs aimed at rehabilitating pieces of land interfered with the operations of this development. This also entails biodiversity conservation since the numerous plant and animal species are essential in maintaining the natural habitat (Air Quality). Adhering to these provisions contained in the conditions of consent will increase the benefits of the coal project while suppressing the undesirable effects.
Related Literature Review
The highlighted arguments regarding the practicability of the coal project and its impact on the environment are in accordance with the findings from other literature reviews. Coal is one of the energy sources that cause immense environmental degradation despite its role in enhancing the economic developments in a nation. Based on the argument, it is important for coal-producing companies to integrate various initiatives with the main intent of reducing these negative effects on the environment (Water). This is also a suitable approach in dealing with the worldwide menace of global warming and climate change. Some of the aspects that the management of such corporations should consider include the reduction of water, noise, air, and land pollution since they are main elements that result in the overall environmental degradation. For instance, promoting biodiversity by maintaining the natural habitat of various species will improve the value of land as well as air quality (Air Quality). Additionally, it is important to separate the dirty and clean water systems from the company before releasing the waste matter into other water sources within the region.
In conclusion, the coal project facilitated by the Centennial Coal Company in the New South Wales region of Australia is a suitable scheme that will enhance economic progress in the area. However, as discussed in the proposal, it has several undesirable effects on the environment. The assessment report of P&I comprises of discussions from proponents and opposition of this project in order to compare its benefits with its adverse effects. In addition to the initiatives proposed by Centennial Coal Company, this national environment agency has included features that would be useful in establishing an effective Environmental Management Plan. The conditions of consent are also important in formulating this conservation plan. It contains guidelines that govern the operations of all companies in order to promote environmental conservation at the local, national, and global levels.
Air Quality. Australia Government: Department of the Environment. Retrieved from: http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/environment-protection/air-quality
Biodiversity Conservation Research: Australia’s Priorities. Canberra: Environment Australia, 2001. Print.
Mining Law in New South Wales: A Discussion Paper. Sydney, N.S.W: Environmental Defender’s Office (Ltd) NSW, 2011. Print.
Objectives, Achievements and Priorities in Environment, Conservation and Heritage. Canberra: AGPS, 2007. Print.
Tisdell, C A. Economics of Environmental Conservation. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Pub, 2005. Print.
Water. NSW Government: Environment & Heritage. Retrieved from: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/water/
Western Coal Services Project (SSD 5579). Planning Assessment Commission. Retrieved from: http://www.pac.nsw.gov.au/Projects/Current/tabid/102/ctl/viewreview/mid/439/pac/388/view/readonly/myctl/rev/Default.aspx
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