Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has granted Western Distributor Authority (WDA) a works approval to build road tunnel ventilation systems near the exits of the two proposed tunnels that make up the West Gate Tunnel project.
Works approvals are issued by EPA Victoria under the Environment Protection Act 1970. They are required for industrial and waste management activities that have the potential for significant environmental impact.
EPA’s works approval is for the road tunnel ventilation systems of the West Gate Tunnel Project that was subject to an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) assessment and a planning scheme amendment.
The works approval application was submitted to EPA by WDA, which is managing the project on behalf of the State Government, in partnership with Transurban.
The application sought EPA approval to construct and install tunnel ventilation systems located near the exits of the two tunnels with three traffic lanes.
In making its final decision, EPA looked at possible environmental impacts including noise, greenhouse gas and air quality and found that the application complied with the Environment Protection Act 1970 and relevant environmental policies.
EPA received a number of submissions in relation to the application and these were considered in EPA’s final assessment.
EPA’s priority is the health of the community and the environment and it considered impacts including noise and air quality in its assessment of the ventilation systems.
EPA has imposed conditions in the works approval to protect the environment and public health. These include requirements that:
- extensive air quality monitoring be undertaken in the surrounding area and be publicly reported; and
- the ventilation system is built such that it can be easily retro-fitted with pollution control equipment in the future should monitoring provide evidence for such action.
EPA will also continue to support and advocate for national and state policies and initiatives that tackle exhaust emissions from vehicles (emission and fuel standards) and improve traffic management and transport planning (reducing freight traffic in local streets) to reduce local air quality impacts.
Tackling emissions at their source (exhaust emissions from vehicles) and removing freight from local streets will improve air quality overall.
For further information about the project, please visit: www.westgatetunnelproject.vic.gov.au/wgt
For further information about the works approval application, visit: http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/our-work/major-infrastructure-projects/west-gate-tunnel-project