Monitoring the environment
Ichthys LNG undertakes a world-class environmental monitoring program to support its 40-year operations. Reports are made available to various external agencies and authorities including:
- Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority
- Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy.
Nearshore Environmental Monitoring Program Summary Report
The Nearshore Environmental Monitoring Program was developed to monitor potential effects of dredging and spoil disposal activities on the marine environment in Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory. A summary of findings from two years of marine environmental monitoring for dredging activities (2012 - 2014) can be found in the summary report - Darwin Harbour – A Summary of the Ichthys LNG Project Nearshore Environmental Monitoring Program.
Operations Environmental Monitoring Programs
Ichthys LNG undertakes a range of environmental monitoring programs to protect the environment.
Nearshore, Bladin Point
Onshore Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing
Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing is completed at commingled jetty outfall stream discharge pipes to assess the ecotoxicity of the commingling jetty outfall stream and to verify that once commingled the discharge can reach safe dilution within the mixing zone.
Jetty Outfall Monitoring
Jetty outfall water quality monitoring is completed to detect changes in water quality attributable to liquid discharges from the LNG jetty outfall. Results of monitoring are compared to triggers developed in consultation with the Northern Territory EPA.
Nearshore Marine Pest Monitoring
The presence/absence of invasive marine species (IMS) at the Ichthys LNG and LPG/condensate product loading jetties is monitored using artificial settlement units (ASU). The ASUs are provided by NT Department of Primary Industries and Resources (DPIR) Aquatic Biosecurity Unit and are regularly inspected for IMS presence. Suspected IMS are sent to the NT DPIR for identification.
Nearshore, Darwin Harbour
Harbour Sediment Monitoring
INPEX's harbour sediment quality monitoring program provides an early warning of potential accumulation of contaminants in sediments surrounding the Ichthys LNG outfall, located on the condensate/LPG jetty. The key objective is to detect changes in surficial sediment quality and determine if changes are attributable to Ichthys LNG operations.
Onshore, Bladin Point
Groundwater monitoring is completed to detect changes in groundwater quality and determine if these changes are attributable to Ichthys LNG operations. Note there are no planned discharges directly to groundwater, other than clean rainfall and non-contaminated water. However unplanned spills, leaks or rupture to infrastructure may result in some impacts to groundwater.
Terrestrial weed surveillance is completed throughout the Ichthys LNG facility. The key objectives of the weed mapping program are to identify the abundance and spatial distribution of known and new emergent weed populations and inform weed management and control activities.
Native vegetation surveillance is completed throughout the Ichthys LNG facility to map the distribution of vegetation communities immediately adjacent to the GEP corridor and monitor/manage the rehabilitation of cleared areas. Over time it is anticipated that the rehabilitating vegetation communities will resemble the species composition and structure of surrounding remnant vegetation
Onshore, Middle Arm
Mangrove Health Monitoring
Mangrove health, intertidal sediments and bio-indicators are monitored to detect potential adverse changes in mangrove community health as an indirect result of Ichthys LNG operations. The objectives of annual mangrove health, intertidal sediment and bioindicator surveys are to:
- informatively monitor mangroves adjacent to the Ichthys LNG plant
- detect changes in intertidal sediment quality attributable to Ichthys LNG operations
- determine through bio-indicator monitoring if changes in seafood quality is occurring
Air Emissions Monitoring
Air quality monitoring data is collected and analysed to assess the potential impact of production activities at Ichthys LNG facility on the broader air environment. Monitoring includes both ambient air quality and point-source emissions monitoring.
Visual monitoring and closed-circuit television monitoring of flares is undertaken to detect possible dark-smoke events. If dark smoke is produced during operations, the shade (or darkness) of the smoke is estimated and recorded.
Nearshore and Offshore
Operational & Scientific Monitoring Plan
INPEX maintains an Operational and Scientific Monitoring Plan (OSMP) to ensure that, in the unlikely event of an oil spill, combat efforts are effective and that timely and appropriate monitoring of environmental receptors at risk during a large oil spill is undertaken. The OSMP defines the operational and scientific monitoring required to be completed by INPEX in the event of a spill.
Offshore Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing
Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing is completed at offshore facilities discharge pipes (prior to commingling and discharge) to assess whether there are any potential environmental impacts that could occur from discharge of waste streams from the Central Processing Facility (CPF) and Floating Production Storage and Offtake (FPSO) facility into the marine environment.
Offshore Chemical Characterisation
Chemical characterisation of selected discharge streams at the end-of-pipe (prior to commingling and discharge to the receiving environment) will be undertaken in accordance with the Offshore Facilities EP. The purpose of this monitoring is to provide information to support the assessment of potential additive or synergistic effects that may result from constituents interacting within the different discharge streams as they enter the marine environment.
The key objective of chemical characterisation is to verify that the discharge constituents are as expected and provide information about the composition of the streams so that any changing conditions can be identified.
Offshore Water & Sediment Monitoring
Water and sediment quality monitoring is completed to monitor for any potential impacts associated with liquid discharges from the offshore facilities. The key objectives of the offshore water and sediment quality monitoring program are to detect changes in water quality attributable to liquid discharges from the CPF and FPSO, and sediment quality from the FPSO.
Offshore Marine Pest Observations
Project-related biosecurity aspects are managed by INPEX to minimise the potential for the introduction of pests and diseases at offshore facilities. Offshore marine pest observations are completed through opportunistic review of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) survey footage collected during inspection, monitoring and repair (IMR) activities, and in-particular during marine fouling inspections for wave‑loading purposes.