Opr rail Development Public Environmental Review



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Environmental 
Factor 
EPA Objective 
Existing Environment 
Potential Impacts 
Environmental Management 
Predicted Outcome 
include water supply aspects.  Any impacts on 
pastoral water supply due to the Proposal will 
be rectified by OPR. 
supply not considered 
likely. 
POLLUTION 
Noise, Vibration 
and Light Spill 
To protect the amenity 
of nearby residents 
from noise impacts 
resulting from activities 
associated with the 
Proposal by ensuring 
that noise levels meet 
statutory requirements 
and acceptable 
standards. 
To avoid or manage 
potential impacts from 
light overspill and 
comply with 
acceptable standards. 
  Background noise levels consistent 
with rural setting - measured noise 
levels from 4 locations varied from 
LA90 23 - 26 dB at night, while the 
day time levels ranged from LA90 27 
- 30 dB. 
  Vibration currently restricted to minor 
and low level vibrations from rural 
activities. 
  Few light sources, particularly in the 
eastern part of the Study Area.  Light 
sources generally restricted to farm 
houses, road traffic and occasional 
farming activities at night. 
Construction 
  Blasting may be necessary in isolated 
locations where continuous rock is 
encountered leading to noise and vibration. 
  Construction noise will be short term (weeks-
months) as the construction face will 
continuously advance.   
  Activities such as compaction during 
construction may cause vibration but the 
proximity to residences means that this is 
unlikely to be felt and is expected to be short 
term. 
  Temporary lighting during construction 
activities. 
Operation 
  Increase in noise sources means 3 receptors 
may exceed the outdoor noise limit criteria at 
night (State Planning Policy 5.4).  An further 3 
receptors in this category are owned by 
LandCorp and are not considered noise 
sensitive premises. 
  An additional 7 receptors may exceed the 
outdoor noise target criteria at night.  A further 
7 receptors are owned by LandCorp (see 
above). 
  Train movements are expected to be audible 
at approximately 55 receptors (including those 
above). 
  Light impacts restricted to road crossings, 
signals and temporary illumination of tracks 
by trains and service vehicles at night. Light 
impacts from maintenance camps expected to 
be negligible due to their remote location. 
  Increases in vibration levels in close proximity 
to rail. 
  The preferred Rail Corridor has been selected 
to minimise the number of receptors impacted 
and the degree of impact has been minimised 
by route selection where possible.   
  Consultation programme with affected 
landholders based around preferred centreline 
to identify and agree upon mitigation options 
that may include external sound barriers, 
internal sound-proofing and building relocation. 
  Use a combination of noise reduction methods 
to comply with the Noise Regulations 
(construction) and SPP5.4 (rail operation).   
  Modelling completed for the preferred 
centreline as well as practical extremities of 
the Special Act Corridor (SAC) to determine 
the range of possible noise outcomes and to 
cater for possible minor changes to preferred 
centreline. 
  Personnel will be made aware of noise related 
issues during inductions 
  Consultation with affected premises regarding 
key construction activities will commence 
before construction and continue throughout 
construction. 
  A Construction Noise Management Plan will 
be submitted for approval in accordance with 
the Environmental Protection (Noise) 
Regulations 1997 prior to commencement of 
construction. 
  Design and place any construction lighting to 
reduce intrusion to residences where 
practicable.  Design and place lighting in 
accordance with Australian Standard AS4282-
1997 Control of Obtrusive Effects of Outdoor 
Lighting.  
  An Operation Noise Management Plan will be 
developed which will include more detailed 
information on the following: 

Selection of construction and 
operational equipment 

Noise and vibration monitoring plans 
and results to be made publicly 
available 

Verification of noise modelling 

Monitoring to determine the success 
of noise mitigation measures 
  Ambient noise levels will 
increase during both 
construction and 
operational phases within 
adjacent areas.   
  Compliance with SPP5.4 
expected to be attained by 
consultation and 
negotiation with 
landholders regarding a 
range of mitigation 
measures at an individual 
landholder level.  
  Compliance with noise 
regulations during 
construction, criteria 
expected to be able to be 
achieved subject to a 
Construction Noise 
Management Plan under 
the Environmental 
Protection (Noise) 
Regulations (1997) 
 Occasional noise events 
from rail movements 
audible at up to 55 
sensitive receptors largely 
throughout the freehold 
area. 
  Light impacts able to be 
managed using Australian 
Standard. 
  Vibration impacts expected 
to be insignificant as they 
will be restricted to within 
20 m of the Rail Corridor. 

 
OPR Rail Development 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
 
 
275
Environmental 
Factor 
EPA Objective 
Existing Environment 
Potential Impacts 
Environmental Management 
Predicted Outcome 

Monitoring to check on vibration 
levels at selected locations as 
required 

Contingency actions to be taken when 
noise target is exceeded, or noise 
complaint is received 
o Incident 
management 
procedures 
o Reporting 
requirements 

Specification of any zones where the 
operation of the rail will require further 
residential development to consider 
“deemed-to-comply” measures. 
Air Quality 
To ensure that 
emissions do not 
adversely affect 
environmental values 
or the health, welfare 
and amenity of people 
and land uses by 
meeting statutory 
requirements and 
acceptable standards. 
  Dust is currently restricted to 
localised, short-term events caused 
by the movement of cattle, and 
vehicle movements on unsealed 
roads. 
  Large scale episodic dust events 
caused by general dust lift during 
windy conditions occur occasionally 
and may lead to exceedances of 
NEPM levels.  
  Within freehold areas, dust is also 
generated from erosion processes 
due to agricultural activities such as 
ploughing prior to seeding and the 
summer grazing of stock. 
  Activities or areas that may result in dust 
emissions include: 
o Exposed 
surfaces 
o Construction 
earthworks 

Blasting and crushing of rock  

Vehicle movements and ore 
transport 
  The construction face will be constantly 
moving, meaning that construction impacts 
will generally be short-term in nature. 
  Best practice dust controls to ensure that dust 
emissions are minimised and avoided. 
  Perform visual dust monitoring of construction 
and operations areas to ensure that fugitive 
emissions meet required standards. 
  Progressive and staged clearing of vegetation 
to limit the number of open areas 
  Restricted vehicle movements to designated 
access tracks. 
  Apply water sprays and/or dust suppressants 
to exposed areas and unsealed roads during 
construction. 
  Set and enforce vehicle speed limits. 
  Contractual specification of Dust Extinction 
Moisture (DEM) levels for ore haulage. 
  Control occupational dust levels in accordance 
with the requirements of the Mines Safety and 
Inspection Regulations 1995 and Occupational 
Health and Safety Act 1984
  Prepare and implement an Air Quality 
Management Plan that includes objectives, 
targets, and detailed management actions to 
minimise dust emissions at source, monitoring, 
incident management, and contingency 
measures. 
  Dust emissions will 
increase during both 
construction and 
operational phases but will 
be managed under an Air 
Quality Management Plan 
that will detail 
management actions for 
both phases.  Impacts are 
not expected to be 
significant following 
management measures. 
 Emissions from 
construction will be short-
term and subject to best 
practice dust controls.   
 Emissions from operations 
are expected to be 
insignificant.   
  Compliance with relevant 
Occupational Health and 
Safety air quality 
standards. 
Soil Quality 
Ensure that 
rehabilitation achieves 
an acceptable 
standard compatible 
with the intended land 
use, and consistent 
with appropriate 
criteria 
  16% of Study Area expected to have 
moderate-high risk of acid sulfate 
soils (ASS). 
  Broadacre farming throughout the 
freehold area that includes cropping 
and grazing, with some more 
intensive land use towards the 
western end of the Study Area.  
Soils throughout this zone have 
been repeatedly cultivated and may 
be depleted in organic matter and 
nutrients. 
  Grazing on unimproved pasture 
  Potential changes to soil chemistry through 
disturbance of ASS. 
  Alterations to soil structure from disturbance 
impacting on productivity and stability. 
  Potential increase in soil erosion. 
  Potential changes to soil productivity. 
  Contamination of soils from hydrocarbon or 
other spillage. 
  Indirect impacts (on soils and farm 
productivity) via spread of weeds and 
diseases. 
  Potential ASS areas identified from geological 
mapping. 
  Design infrastructure to minimise disturbance 
of ASS. 
  When excavation in areas of potential higher 
risk ASS is required a detailed survey will 
completed in accordance with DEC guidelines 
(DEC, 2004). 
  Prepare and implement an ASS Management 
Plan to manage construction activities in areas 
of known or suspected ASS. 
  Detailed individual rehabilitation plans for 
areas disturbed for construction purposes. 
  The application of 
individual landholder 
consultation and 
management controls 
through the land access 
negotiations for 
biosecurity, drainage 
management, and 
integration with farm 
planning is expected to 
result in impacts being 
acceptable. 
  No significant impacts are 

 
OPR Rail Development 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
 
 
276
Environmental 
Factor 
EPA Objective 
Existing Environment 
Potential Impacts 
Environmental Management 
Predicted Outcome 
(largely native vegetation) 
throughout the Pastoral Area 
  Soil erosion from occasional dust 
storms and intense rainfall events. 
  Consultation with individual landholders 
completed as part of land access negotiations 
to include integration of farm plan aspects into 
construction management.  This will include 
drainage management, biosecurity, vehicle 
hygiene, stock and cropping management 
during construction and operation. 
  Generic Borrow Area Rehabilitation Plan for 
other borrow areas to be retained within the 
operational corridor. 
anticipated arising from 
disturbance of ASS as only 
1.3% of the 16% of 
Proposal Area expected to 
have moderate-high risk of 
ASS requires excavation. 
Waste and 
Hazardous 
Materials 
To ensure that 
emissions do not 
adversely affect 
environmental values 
or the health, welfare 
and amenity of people 
and land uses by 
meeting statutory 
requirements and 
acceptable standards. 
  Minimal hazardous material stored 
and no registered contaminated sites 
within the Study Area due to rural 
land use. 
  Nearby waste management facilities 
are limited to Shire landfills that are 
significant distances apart. 
  Minor dumping of waste consistent 
with historic rural activities. 
  Some hazardous materials 
(particularly diesel) may be 
transported along major roads to 
service inland mining operations. 
Waste 
  Solid and liquid wastes will be generated by 
the Proposal and may impact upon the 
environment by causing contamination
increasing the risk of disease and 
encouraging feral animals. 
  Up to 6 Wastewater Treatment Plants 
(WWTPs) required for a peak workforce of up 
to 3000. 
  Liquid hydrocarbon wastes will be generated 
during both construction and operational 
phases. 
  Inert and putrescible solid wastes will be 
generated during both phases of the 
Proposal.  These will largely be associated 
with the accommodation requirements of the 
construction workforce. 
Hazardous Materials 
  Hazardous materials such as fuel, oils, 
lubricants, chemicals and explosives will be 
required for the construction (and some for 
operation) and may be stored inappropriately 
or spilt potentially casing contamination of soil 
or water, and exposing native animals and 
livestock to hazards. 
  Fuels oils are flammable and could lead to an 
increased risk of fire. 
  Transport of hazardous materials along major 
traffic routes is not expected to be significant 
and the potential for vehicle/rail interaction 
has been eliminated by the selection of a 
grade separation bridges where the rail 
crosses the North West Coastal Highway 
(NWCH) and the Chapman Valley Road. 
  Inert and putrescible waste will be disposed of 
at licensed or registered landfills created along 
the Rail Corridor where distance to existing 
Shire Landfills is prohibitive.  
  Prepare and implement a Waste Management 
Plan based on the hierarchy of waste 
minimisation. 
  Treated wastewater from Construction and 
Operations Camps will be discharged at 
designated spray irrigation areas to be 
established near the camps, or the wastewater 
will be treated to a standard that is suitable for 
use for dust suppression (subject to DoH 
requirements).   
  WWTPs will be subject to licensing under Part 
V of the EP Act.  
  Wastewater will be spread over a large area 
(in accordance with Water Quality Protection 
Note – Irrigation with Nutrient Rich 
Wastewater). 
  Hazardous wastes will be stored and 
transported in accordance with relevant 
legislation to ensure that there is no discharge 
to the environment. 
  Hydrocarbons will be transported, stored and 
used in accordance with industry best practice 
to reduce the risk of spillage to the 
environment. 
  Hydrocarbon spills will be reported as 
incidents and responded to immediately.  Spill 
kits will be kept in designated positions to 
allow swift response.  Any contaminated soil or 
used clean up equipment will be taken to a 
licensed facility.   
  Hazardous material handling, storage and spill 
response will occur in accordance with 
Dangerous Goods Licences issued under the 
Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004 and 
Australian Standards. 
  Prepare and implement a Hazardous Materials 
  The waste or hazardous 
material issues are similar 
to those faced and 
managed by many other 
remote operations in WA.  
The quantities of waste 
expected to be generated 
are not significant. 
  Application of industry best 
practice preventative 
controls such as risk 
assessment and the 
application of storage and 
handling standards, 
incident reporting and 
remedial capacity are 
expected to reduce 
contamination risks to the 
environment to a level that 
is insignificant.   
  Current legislative controls 
are expected to ensure 
that waste and hazardous 
materials are managed to 
avoid significant impacts to 
the environment.   

 
OPR Rail Development 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
 
 
277
Environmental 
Factor 
EPA Objective 
Existing Environment 
Potential Impacts 
Environmental Management 
Predicted Outcome 
and Contamination Management Plan to 
document in detail how chemicals, 
hydrocarbons and hazardous goods or waste 
will be managed.  This plan will ensure 
compliance with the Contaminated Sites Act 
2003
GHG Emissions 
To minimise emissions 
to levels as low as 
practicable on an on-
going basis and 
consider offsets to 
further reduce 
cumulative emissions. 
  Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions 
from the Mid-West are currently 
minor. 
  Majority of iron ore in the Mid-West 
currently being transported by road. 
  No industries that are required to 
report under the NGER Act are 
currently located within the Study 
Area. 
 
  48,000 kL of diesel to be used during 
construction, estimated 45,000 kL during 
operation. 
  Estimates: 250,000 t of CO2-e during 
construction, 130,000 t /yr during operation. 
  Represents approx 0.02% of Australia’s 
annual GHG emissions. 
  Energy use monitoring will be undertaken 
monthly and results reported to OPR 
Management. 
  OPR will identify and comply with all energy 
usage and GHG reporting requirements, and 
any future Commonwealth GHG legislation. 
  Consider fuel efficiency and emissions profiles 
for all new locomotive purchases. 
  Implement energy saving strategies for the rail 
system addressing factors such as fuel type, 
equipment design, rail design, operational 
procedures, schedules, loading and unloading 
systems, and technology. 
  The Proposal is not 
expected to make a 
significant contribution to 
Australia’s annual GHG 
emissions (0.02% of 
Australia’s annual GHG 
emissions will be 
generated). 
  The Proposal will increase 
the GHG efficiency of Mid-
West mines hauling ore to 
port. 
  Reporting under the NGER 
Act will be required. 
  OPR is expected to 
participate in the proposed 
Carbon Pollution 
Reduction Scheme. 
 SOCIAL SURROUNDS 
Heritage To 
ensure 
that 
changes to the 
biophysical 
environment do not 
adversely affect 
historical and cultural 
associations and 
comply with relevant 
heritage legislation. 
  Indigenous heritage sites are known 
at a number of locations in the Study 
Area. 
  The Proposal is within the external 
boundaries of the Naaguja, Amangu, 
Widi Mob, Mullewa Wadjari and 
Wajarri Yamatji Native Title claims. 
  Department of Indigenous Affairs 
registered Aboriginal sites within the 
Proposal Area include Weld Range 
and Jack Hills, which are known to 
have mythological associations to 
local Indigenous people. 
Potential impacts relate primarily to direct 
disturbance and include: 
 
Disturbance of sites during construction 
 
Landscape level changes  
 
Collection and/or defacing of 
artefacts/artworks 
 
Accidental damage of artefacts by off-
road vehicle use 
 
Indirect disturbance to sites from 
changes in water flows, spillages, dust, 
or other indirect impacts. 
  Sites associated with watercourses within the 
Proposal Area are the most likely to be 
impacted as the sites tend to be concentrated 
around water courses and the Proposal must 
cross a number of water courses.   
  OPR will avoid Aboriginal sites wherever 
practicable.  Where it is not practicable to do 
so, OPR will consult with each of the native 
title claim groups in relation to the mitigation 
and salvage of any affected Aboriginal sites 
and seek the consent of the Minister for 
Indigenous Affairs pursuant to Section 18 of 
the AH Act. 
  OPR has agreed processes in place with each 
of the Native Title claim groups affected by the 
Proposal to facilitate the identification of 
unregistered Aboriginal sites and Aboriginal 
heritage surveys will be progressively 
conducted over the Proposal Area prior to 
commencement of construction. 
  OPR has in place Heritage Protocols with 
Native Title groups. The implementation of 
these protocols will be via an Aboriginal 
Heritage Management Plan which includes: 
 
Protection of sites in situ. 
 
Consultation and Section 18 
processes, if required, for those sites 
that cannot be avoided. 
 
Earthworks management – including 
  The Proposal will have an 
unavoidable impact on a 
number of Aboriginal 
heritage sites.  Where 
practicable, significant 
heritage sites will be 
avoided.  Ongoing 
consultation and 
indigenous participation in 
heritage survey work will 
assist OPR to ensure that 
impacts are acceptable. 
  With the implementation of 
management measures, 
the risk of inadvertent 
disturbance of sites is 
minimised and any 
unavoidable disturbance is 
authorised under the AH 
Act. 
 

 
OPR Rail Development 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
 
 
278
Environmental 
Factor 
EPA Objective 
Existing Environment 
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