23.4 Assessment of operational impacts
23.4.1 Operational resource consumption
During the operation of the project, water would be required for:
- Tunnel deluge system (testing and operation)
- Tunnel wall washing
- Motorway operations complex ablutions
- Landscape irrigation.
The anticipated volume, source, management and treatment of operational water are detailed in Chapter 5 (Project description).
The local water supply network would have sufficient capacity to accommodate project operational water requirements. Opportunities for reuse of treated water would be considered in preference to discharge to the stormwater system or receiving waterbodies. This could include irrigation of landscaped areas within the project such as the new open space at the Rozelle interchange. In order to reduce demand on local water supplies, options would be investigated to provide water for the deluge system from wastewater produced through the tunnel drainage system, where it meets
appropriate quality parameters.
Other than during regular maintenance testing, which would require relatively minor water volumes, the deluge system would only operate during emergencies. Water for the deluge system would be sourced from the mains supply.
Operational electricity supply would be required for the mainline tunnels and associated mechanical and electrical equipment. As described in Chapter 5 (Project description), the project would include the provision of five above ground substations, located at Darley Road motorway operations complex (MOC1), Rozelle West motorway operations complex (MOC2), Rozelle East motorway operations complex (MOC3), Iron Cove Link motorway operations complex (MOC4) and Campbell Road motorway operations complex (MOC5). The project would also include a series of underground substations at a spacing not exceeding 1,200 metres within the tunnel.
The anticipated energy consumption of each operational component of the tunnel is summarised in Table 23-10. A minimum of six per cent of operational electricity requirements for the project would be sourced from renewable sources and/or an accredited GreenPower energy supplier. Opportunities for operational energy offset, in accordance with the Australian Government National Carbon Offset Standard, would be considered during detailed design.
The project has been designed to minimise energy consumption and maximise energy efficiency. Measures to improve energy efficiency are detailed in Chapter 22 (Greenhouse gas). Initial discussions with power supply authorities indicate that there is sufficient capacity to supply the project’s power requirements without negative impacts on the local power supply.
Table 23-10 Anticipated operational power supply requirements
Peak oil refers to the fact that oil production may peak, or may have already peaked, and that oil production would decline after this peak. The impact could increase the cost and reduce the availability of transport fuels. Peak oil issues in relation to transport generally include the use of fossil fuels, the energy efficiency of vehicles and construction products derived from fossil fuels. Although consideration of peak oil is not included in the SEARs, Roads and Maritime acknowledges that it is prudent to consider peak oil in terms of the project’s resource needs.
Despite efforts to limit demand for road transport, it is expected that the need for road transport would continue to grow, as described in Chapter 3 (Strategic context and project need). The WestConnex program of works is intended to increase travel speeds, reduce travel distances and improve travel efficiency across the city, including on parallel arterial roads. This may result in an overall reduction in the quantity of fuel consumed.
Further, by alleviating road congestion on key arterial and local roads and providing new and upgraded active transport links, the project would:
- Directly and indirectly improve opportunities for short and local journeys to be taken on foot or bicycle
- Indirectly facilitate the use and reliability of road based public transport (refer to Chapter 3 (Strategic context and project need)).
The project would also be able to be utilised by vehicles not powered by fossil fuels (eg electric vehicles).
Government and industry initiatives relevant to peak oil but outside the scope of this project include the NSW Government’s Resource Efficiency Policy (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage 2014a) and the participation of Roads and Maritime, Austroads and industry in research, with the goal of developing more sustainable road construction materials and practices, thereby reducing reliance on products derived from oil.
23.4.2 Operational waste management
Wastes would be generated during routine maintenance and repair activities required over time, as well as from the operation of the motorway operations complexes. The type and volume of wastes generated would depend on the nature of the activity, but would predominantly consist of minor volumes of general office waste (paper, plastics, food waste), green waste, oil and road materials, as well as contaminated waste resulting from potential fuel spills and leaks. Recycling bins would be provided at site offices to encourage local recycling.
The volumes and types of waste would be typical of motorway operations facilities and could be accommodated by existing metropolitan waste management facilities. Maintenance and repair activities would be subject to separate assessment processes, which would include the assessment of waste impacts associated with these activities.
With the implementation of standard work practices during routine maintenance and repair activities (which would be assessed separately from the project), the overall impact of operational waste streams would be minimal.
The mainline tunnels would include drainage infrastructure to capture groundwater and stormwater ingress, spills, maintenance wastewater, fire suppressant deluge and other potential water sources. The two tunnel drainage streams are expected to produce flows containing a variety of pollutants that require slightly different treatment before discharge to manage adverse impacts on the receiving environment. The pre-treatment water quality of each wastewater stream is expected to vary considerably, and consequently it is likely that the two wastewater streams would need to be collected
and treated separately.
Tunnel wastewater from the mainline tunnels would be pumped to an operational water treatment facility at the Darley Road motorway operations complex (MOC1) at Leichhardt, with one option for treated flows being discharged into Hawthorne Canal. Hawthorne Canal discharge point has been considered as an indicative location. Other appropriate locations would be considered during detailed design.
Tunnel wastewater from the Rozelle interchange tunnels and Iron Cove Link would be pumped to an operational water treatment facility at the Rozelle East motorway operations complex (MOC3), with flows being treated at the constructed wetland at Rozelle civil and tunnel site (C5) and then discharged into Rozelle Bay. A small portion (around 1.6 kilometres) of tunnel, to and from the St Peters interchange, would also drain to the New M5 operational water treatment facility at Arncliffe, draining to the Cooks River.
The combined mainline tunnel and Rozelle interchange tunnel would generate around 1,418 megalitres per year of treated groundwater.
Collected groundwater would be pumped to water treatment facilities. Other sources of water captured by the tunnel drainage system (ie washdown or a spill) would be collected in one of the tunnel sumps, assessed to determine the source, tested, and either pumped to and discharged at the surface or removed directly from the sump by tanker for treatment, and disposal elsewhere.
Further information is provided in Chapter 15 (Soil and water quality) including potential impacts associated with operational stormwater runoff.
23.5 Environmental management measures
Resource use and waste management can be managed and mitigated through the development of construction management plans and implementation of standard approaches.
Measures to avoid, minimise or manage resource consumption and waste streams generated as a result of the project are detailed in Table 23-11 and would ensure that all wastes generated during the construction and operation of the project are effectively stored, handled, treated, reused, recycled and/or disposed of lawfully and in a manner that protects human health and environmental values. Specific contingency measures for waste management are outlined in the section below and are detailed in Table 23-11.
Contingency management of waste
Specific contingency measures to manage waste generated from the construction and operation of the project will be implemented to manage unexpected volumes of waste or otherwise exceptional circumstances. Suitable areas will be identified to allow for contingency management of unexpected waste materials, including contaminated materials. These areas will be hardstand or lined areas that are appropriately stabilised and bunded, with sufficient area for stockpile storage and segregation.
The spoil management sites identified in section 23.3.2 will have adequate capacity to accept spoil from the project at the time of disposal and there is additional capacity at these sites in the event of additional unexpected spoil volumes.
In the event of discovery of previously unidentified contaminated material, all relevant work will cease in the vicinity of the discovery and the unidentified contaminated material would be managed in accordance with an unexpected contaminated lands discovery procedure, as outlined in the Guideline for the Management of Contamination (Roads and Maritime 2013).
The environmental management measures outlined in Table 23-11 and throughout this assessment will be consistently implemented in the event of encountering unexpected volumes of waste or otherwise exceptional circumstances, along with adherence to all project resource use and waste principles and relevant legislation and regulations.
Table 23-11 Environmental management measures – waste
RW1 Construction material will be sourced in accordance with the relevant aims of the WestConnex Sustainability Strategy (Sydney Motorway Corporation 2015) and a Sustainability Strategy (that will be developed during detailed design), including to optimise resource efficiency and waste management, and the selection of locally
sourced materials and prefabricated assets where possible, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Unnecessary resource consumption will be avoided through the detailed design of the project and by making realistic predictions about the required quantities of resources, such as construction materials.
Waste generation and disposal
RW2 Wastes will be managed and disposed of in accordance with relevant NSW legislation and government policies.
RW3 A Construction Waste Management Plan will be prepared as part of the CEMP and regularly updated during detailed design and construction, detailing appropriate procedures for waste management. The plan will include the waste
management measures described in this EIS.
RW4 Wastes will be managed using the waste hierarchy principles of:
- Avoidance of unnecessary resource consumption to reduce the quantity of waste being generated
- Recovery of resources for reuse on-site or off-site for the same or similar use, without reprocessing
- Recovery of resources through recycling and reprocessing so that waste can be processed into a similar non-waste product and reused
- Disposal of residual waste.
RW5 Resource recovery will be applied to the management of
construction waste and will include:
- Recovery of resources for reuse – reusable materials generated by the project will be segregated for reuse on site, or off site where possible, including the reuse of the major waste streams (VENM)
- Recovery of resources for recycling recyclable resources (such as metals, plastics and other recyclable materials) generated during construction and demolition
- Resources will be segregated for recycling and sent to an appropriate recycling facility for processing
- Recovery of resources for reprocessing cleared vegetation will be mulched or chipped on-site and used for landscaping, in the absence of a higher
beneficial use being identified.
RW6 Options identified for the off-site reuse of waste will comply with relevant NSW EPA resource recovery exemptions and requirements.
RW7 The Construction Waste Management Plan will document anticipated volumes of spoil that will be generated by the project, spoil storage locations within project sites and
likely spoil disposal sites.
The Construction Waste Management Plan and spoil reuse opportunities will be regularly reviewed and updated during detailed design and project construction.
RW8 The project will reuse or recycle around 95 per cent of uncontaminated spoil generated for beneficial purposes, either within the project or at other locations in accordance with the project spoil management hierarchy.
RW9 Suitable areas will be identified to allow for contingency management of unexpected waste materials, including contaminated materials. Suitable areas would be required to be hardstand or lined areas that are appropriately stabilised and bunded, with sufficient area for stockpile storage.
Exposure to unexpected contaminate d land
RW10 The discovery of previously unidentified contaminated material will be managed in accordance with an unexpected contaminated lands discovery procedure, as outlined in the Guideline for the Management of Contamination (Roads and Maritime 2013) and detailed in the CEMP.
Dust generation, erosion and sedimentatio n of stockpiles
RW11 Spoil stockpiles will be provided with appropriate environmental controls and managed to reduce potential impacts associated with dust generation, erosion and
Generation of general waste
RW12 General wastes from site offices such as putrescibles, paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and printer cartridges will be separated and collected for recycling off-site wherever practicable.
Exposure to asbestos
RW13 An asbestos survey will be undertaken of buildings to be demolished as part of the project in accordance with an Asbestos Management Plan as part of the Work Health and Safety Plan. The survey will be conducted by a suitably qualified person.
RW14 Asbestos handling and management will be undertaken in accordance with an Asbestos Management Plan as part of the Work Health and Safety Plan and relevant NSW
legislation, government policies and Australian Standards. The plan will include prior notification to adjacent communities about potential hazards.
Waste generation and disposal
ORW1 The project will be operated in accordance with the relevant aims of the WestConnex Sustainability Strategy (Sydney Motorway Corporation 2015) and a Sustainability Strategy will be developed during detailed design to outline ways to optimise resource efficiency and waste management.
ORW2 Waste will be managed and disposed of in accordance with relevant NSW legislation and government policies and the mitigation measures described in this EIS.
Wastewater use and discharge
ORW3 Opportunities to reuse treated groundwater during project operation will be considered in preference to discharge to the stormwater system or receiving waterbodies. This could include irrigation of landscaped areas within the project footprint such as new open spaces at the Rozelle interchange.
ORW4 In order to reduce demand on local water supplies, options will be investigated to provide water for the deluge system from wastewater produced through the tunnel drainage system, where it meets appropriate quality