Re: LIGHT POLLUTION from proposed gas terminal in our precious RAMSAR listed bay.
My apologies in the delay in responding to you, this question was posted into our 'General' forum. We have a dedicated forum for the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project here, if you would like to take a look.
Lighting can have an impact on the environment and the lifestyle of the surrounding community so we are taking care to look at the potential impacts and what we can do to address them. This issue has been raised with us in many of the community consultation meetings we have held since July 2017.
In particular, we want to ensure all marine species (for example the short-tailed shearwaters which are sensitive to light disruption) are not significantly impacted by our proposed facilities and that there are appropriate mitigation mechanisms in place to reduce any impact. We also are investigating how to reduce impacts on the neighbourhood and amenity.
There is existing security and safety lighting at the jetty in Crib Point because it is an operating petroleum import jetty. The FSRU will also have security lighting as will the jetty head at berth 2 and the entrance to the facility and some in the onshore facility itself. These lights will have directional lighting to illuminate the required areas down while reducing upwards light spill. We are currently also looking at whether the existing jetty lighting also needs to be replaced as part of the security arrangements. These are areas AGL has input in to lighting design and light spill mitigation. AGL will not have any influence over visiting LNG tanker lighting.
There are several national and international regulations and legal obligation that FSRU’s (domestic and visiting) must comply with, mainly due to establishing a safe working environment and ensure it can be seen by the vessel masters in the Port. While we must comply with the standard we aim to avoid or minimise any unreasonable light spill. Regulations also require us to minimise the risk of dazzle and glare.
We have conducted an initial review into the impact of lighting as part of the referral for the EES. As the report states, any increase in light will impact in some way the naturalistic qualities of the area.
As suggested by the report, our aim is that “External lighting should be designed, baffled and located as to prevent any adverse effect on adjoining land to the satisfaction of the responsible authority.”
However, in this assessment, we were not able to model the exact lighting configuration as we had not chosen the FSRU. Conditional on regulatory approvals and a financial investment decision, the FSRU will be supplied and operated by Höegh LNG, with the likely vessel being the Höegh Giant.
The full report can be viewed here.
As part of the EES, the impact of light spill will be investigated further, specifically in terms of the impact on the marine environment and visual amenity.
As outlined in the scoping document (available here), the EES will:
- Identify flora and fauna that could be affected by the project’s potential effects on air quality, noise or vibration, or could be disoriented or otherwise impacted by project lighting.
- Assess likely direct and indirect effects of the project on the ecological character and habitat values of the Western Port Ramsar wetland site, including but not limited to effects of entrainment, potential introduction of exotic organisms, wastewater discharges, other waste streams, noise, vibration and light.
- Identify potential and proposed design responses and/or other mitigation measures to avoid, reduce and/or manage any significant effects for sensitive receptors during project construction and operation arising from specified air pollution indicators, noise, vibration, traffic and lighting, in the context of applicable policy and standards and the anticipated increase in shipping traffic in Western Port resulting from the project.
- Assess likely noise, vibration, traffic, lighting and visual impacts at sensitive receptors adjacent to the project during project construction and operation (both with and in the absence of the proposed mitigation measures), relative to standards.
The next stage of the EES community engagement process is to run workshops. One of these will be on the impact of light spill, would you be interested in attending?