Public Environmental Review (PER)

A Public Environmental Review (PER) represents the highest level of environmental approval in Western Australia.

They are administered by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) through the Environmental Protection Act (1986). PER are generally only required for projects likely to have a significant effect on the environment and require the the proponent to refer the project to the EPA for assessment. The EPA may either set a level of assessment for a project at a PER or it may be given an Assessment on Proponent Information (API) category A or B.

A proposal will be assigned an assessment level of PER (with a 4 – 12 week public review period), if:

  • The proposal is of regional and/or state-wide significance;
  • The proposal has several key environmental factors or issues, some of which are considered to be complex, or of a strategic nature;
  • Substantial and detailed assessment of the proposal is required to determine whether the environmental issues could be managed and if so, how; or
  • The level of public concern about the likely effect of the proposal, if implemented, on the environment, warrants a public review period.

At the time the level of assessment is set, the EPA determines:

  • Whether the proponent or the EPA will prepare an Environmental Scoping Document (ESD).
  • If the ESD will require a public review.
  • The length of the public review period.

The purpose of an ESD is to set out the EPA’s requirements in relation to the form, content and timing of the environmental review that the proponent is to undertake, and to report on it in the PER document.

More information on the PER process can be obtained from the EPA website and found in the EIA Administrative Procedures 2010.

How can Soilwater Consultants help with a PER?

Soilwater Consultants (SWC) have undertaken and been involved in several PER’s for several iconic projects, including:

  • Mulga Rock Uranium Project (MRUP; Vimy Resources)
  • Yeelirrie Uranium Project (YUP; Cameco Australia)
  • Centipede and Lake Water Uranium Projects (Toro Energy)
  • Cooljarloo West Mineral Sands Mine (Tronox Management)
  • Eneabba Mineral Sands Mine (Iluka Resources)
  • Christmas Creek Iron Ore Expansion (FMG)
  • Sorby Hills Silver Lead Zinc Project (Kimberley Mining Limited)
  • Yoongarillup Mineral Sands Mine (Doral Mineral Sands)

Given our broad technical knowledge across all aspects of mining and the environment, SWC are able to:

  • Facilitate the referral process with the EPA.
  • Prepare the referral document for the EPA.
  • Prepare Environmental Scoping Documents (ESD) on behalf of a proponent.
  • Complete the preparation and submission of the PER document to the EPA – in accordance with the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority (OEPA) PER Guidelines.
  • Review, evaluate and establish significance of imposed conditions in accordance with Environmental Assessment Guideline (EAG) for Recommending Environmental Conditions (EAG11).
  • Coordinate and manage public submissions, and the corresponding responses on behalf of a client.

Why choose Soilwater Consultants over another company?

Soilwater Consultants (SWC) have over 20 years operational and technical expertise in the environmental and mining industries. We have the required technical knowledge and understanding of mining operations to prepare PERs that are both economically and environmentally feasible, whilst meeting regulatory expectations.

We are able to critically evaluate and determine which information is important for a project, what are the ‘actual’ environmental risks of a project as opposed to ‘perceived’ environmental risks. Therefore, we understand which information needs to be included in a PER to ensure approval in the shortest possible time period.

Generalist environmental personnel and companies do not have sufficient environmental or mining expertise to identify what really needs to go into a PER, so as to clearly convey understanding of environmental risk, and therefore they are likely to develop closure commitments that are unrealistic and too onerous on a company.

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