New dredge machine used in the dredging of a deep well in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to help remove water from the area.
The dredging is being done by the Northern Rivers Council, which works with the Australian Government’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
The council said the pumps were being deployed for the first time on the Great Barrier and had been used for more than a decade to remove sediment from a deep, sandbank in the Northern Territory.
“This is the first major dredging operation in the area and it is our understanding that the dredge pump has been operating for more, maybe four to five years,” Northern Rivers Minister Peter Ryan said.
“We are working closely with EPA and local authorities to ensure the safety of the residents, wildlife and marine life that live on the Northern River and this is a positive sign that our dredging work is working well.”
The EPA said it had been monitoring the operation for the past few months, and said it was the first dredging project to be done by a dredge company in the region.
“The EPA is working closely together with the Northern Riverside Council to monitor the impacts of this operation to ensure it is environmentally sustainable,” EPA spokesman Kevin Daley said.
He said there was no risk to the environment or human health.
“At this stage there is no known adverse health impact to the public, and the EPA is in the process of ensuring that the public are not impacted,” he said.
But the EPA said that it was concerned about possible spills.
“Dredge pump operators must ensure that they are operating within the terms of their permit, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and ensure that their pumps are properly ventilated to reduce risk of contamination,” it said in a statement.
“There are also strict regulations in place to ensure that the pump operators are in compliance with the NEPA, and to ensure proper safety procedures.”
The government has previously said the project would be done safely.
“In order to minimise risk to people and the environment, the project will be conducted in accordance with NEPA and regulations.
There is no risk of spill or release of any chemicals into the environment.
The project is not expected to impact any native marine species, nor will it have any adverse impact on native ecosystems.”
The dredge project will run for the next five years, with an end date set for 2019.
Topics:environment,environmental-impact,environment,drilling,environment-management,environmentally-sensitive-projects,environmentaling,aquaculture,water-supply,environmentALeq,arwin-0800,liverpool-0870,newcastle-2300,queenslandFirst posted October 24, 2020 12:55:22Contact Chris Meehan