28 Dec 2012

Barnett Browse shift angers EPA

WA's environmental watchdog has accused the Barnett Government of undermining confidence in the State's green approvals process by removing limits on carbon pollution from the proposed Browse LNG development.

Environmental Protection Authority chairman Paul Vogel said lifting pollution conditions on the $40 billion Kimberley gas hub could lead to worse environmental outcomes.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion reversed more than a decade of precedent last month when he largely exempted Browse proponents from conditions to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.
It was particularly important with Browse, he said, because the project would lift WA's total greenhouse gas emissions up to 52 per cent above 2007 levels if it reached capacity. "There's still a role for the State Government in maintaining public confidence in the environmental performance of proponents, particularly when they have large greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

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"Not only will the Browse hub be, if built, the most polluting project Australia's ever seen (41mtpa of Co2e, equivalent to 7% of the country's total emissions now) but Barnett's proposing it should use old-style dirty gas combustion technology". ED

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