Monitoring LIP's impact on the environment

For almost half a century ExxonMobil has been successfully operating the Long Island Point (LIP) Plant near Hastings on the shore of the environmentally sensitive Western Port Bay.

News

Monitoring LIP's impact on the environment

Ever since the gas fractionation and crude oil storage facility first began operating in 1970, the company has gone to great lengths to minimise its impact on the environment.

“As a vital part of our Gippsland oil and gas production operations, LIP is an economic asset of national significance,” said LIP Plant Manager Kim Hahn. “We take a great deal of pride in the fact we have been operating successfully for so long on the edge of Western Port, an important Ramsar designated wetland for migratory birds.”

At the APPEA conference in Perth, ExxonMobil Environment and Regulatory Adviser Melanie Bok presented a peer-reviewed paper on the practices of managing and monitoring wastewater discharges in a sensitive environment and the outcomes of a long-term study measuring impacts of wastewater discharges from the plant.

Her paper, Five Years On: Monitoring of Long Island Point’s Western Port Wastewater Discharge, was co-authored by marine environmental scientists Scott Chidgey and Peter Crockett.

The paper demonstrates that the plant’s treated wastewater discharge has had no adverse impact on key environmental indicators in Western Port over a long-term study period.

“A major upgrade to the LIP water treatment facility in 2010 included a risk-based marine ecosystem program to monitor key environmental indicators including water quality, jetty pile invertebrate communities and seagrass condition,” said Melanie.

“The program’s longer-term monitoring record has allowed us to assess any potential chronic effects on invertebrates and seagrass by comparing temporal changes at monitoring sites over the period from pre-operations of the facility in 2010 until today. It also allows us to measure spatial changes between near-field to far-field sites, kilometres from the discharge point.”

Melanie said her study showed that industrial discharges could co-exist in sensitive environments, provided that discharges were properly managed and the outfall was designed to minimise its impact on the ecosystem.

She said the dedication and vigilance of the LIP team was also essential to protecting the environment.

“The careful management of wastewater input flows and quality within the site boundary before discharge, including maintaining operator responsiveness and coordination between laboratory and operations personnel are fundamental to maintaining the quality of our discharge stream,” she said.

The monitoring program will continue in future years to ensure wastewater discharges are managed effectively so as to protect the world-class marine environmental values of Western Port.

Five Years On: Monitoring of Long Island Point’s Western Port Wastewater Discharge was published in The APPEA Journal 2017.

Photo — At the 2017 APPEA conference in Perth, ExxonMobil Environment and Regulatory Adviser Melanie Bok presented a peer-reviewed paper on a study measuring impacts of wastewater discharges from the Long Island Island Point plant.

Related content

Long Island Point marks an excellent half century

On September 21, 50 years ago the Prime Minister of Australia, John Gorton, officially opened the Esso/BHP Long Island Point (LIP) Fractionation Plant.

Esso news Article

Masking up with Twin Rivers Lions Club

The Esso team in Gippsland have turned mandatory mask wearing into an opportunity to support a local Lions Club.

Esso news Article

Longford Plants update September 2020

Update from Kartik Garg, Longford Plants Manager.

Esso news Article

School session highlights environmental aims

While schooling has changed vastly over recent months, with many students attending classes remotely for most in Victoria, what hasn’t changed are our efforts to engage with school communities near to our operations.

Esso news Article

The nesting boxes travel to the Gippsland forests via Buchan.

Virtual volunteering with Conservation Volunteers Australia

We are continuing our long-term support of Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) by supporting their Gippsland bushfire recovery virtual volunteering program.

Esso news Article

Funding Crisis Cases that help foster kids feel at home

Esso Australia is helping provide a better experience for foster kids in Gippsland

Esso news Article