How robust is the environmental impact assessment process in South Australia? Behind the scenes of the Adelaide seawater desalination project

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    Abstract

    This work tests the robustness of policies and procedures designed to protect South Australia's marine environment through a case study of the Adelaide Desalination Plant-the most expensive (~A$1.8 billion) infrastructure project in South Australia's history. Although this project has been subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)-the highest level of assessment in Australia-on inspection it appears that the current operating licence for the desalination brine discharge breaches Government approval conditions and ignores the collective expert scientific advice of the project's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Hence, the EIA process in South Australia for this project is flawed. Improvements could be made to the South Australian system by including the requirements for operating licences as an integral part of the EIA.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)500-506
    Number of pages7
    JournalMarine Policy
    Volume38
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013

    Keywords

    • Environmental Impact Assessment
    • Marine conservation
    • Operating licence
    • Seawater desalination
    • South Australia

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