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Finlayson G.R.,Coffey Environments | White C.R.,University of Adelaide | White C.R.,University of Queensland | Dibben R.,6 Marsh Avenue | And 2 more authors.
Australian Mammalogy | Year: 2010

The southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) is a large, semifossorial, herbivorous marsupial, adapted to a harsh and unpredictable environment in semi-arid Australia. Limited information is available on the biology and general behaviour of the species. The present study examines monthly variability in 'nocturnal' activity patterns. Data-loggers were used to investigate the effect of climate on 57 months of activity patterns of 18 wombats between 1999 and 2004. The average period of activity across the study was 6.27±0.24h in duration across the study. Multiple excursions above ground were more common in September and significantly correlated with both available water and median temperature. Periods of activity were strongly correlated with temperature across the entire study. © Australian Mammal Society 2010.

Schulz P.J.,Coffey Environments | O'Farrell C.,Coffey Environments
Air and Waste Management Association - Vapor Intrusion 2010 | Year: 2010

Soil-vapour sampling protocols associated with petroleum-hydrocarbon release sites often ignore the value that an evidence-based assessment of natural attenuation can provide to data evaluation and interpretation. The author's experience is that minimalistic approaches, whereby soil-vapour is collected only for quantification against standardized volatile organic compounds (VOC) analytical spectrums, is typical of industry practice. This approach, whilst allowing interpretation of human-health exposures associated with vapour inhalation, significantly limits interpretation of naturally occurring biologically-driven attenuation processes. Where monitored natural attenuation (MNA) forms part of the long term remedial strategy for a contaminated site, an understanding of the degradative processes occurring can be particularly valuable. General gas data can assist in the determination of areas where naturally occurring biodegradation is occurring, and the specific breakdown mechanisms favoured within areas under investigation. The authors have come across specific instances where the sub-surface concentration of methane and oxygen have been such that mixing of this soil-vapour with ambient air may potentially lead to explosive gaseous mixtures. As the risk associated with methane in the presence of other flammable gases is unknown, inclusion of general gas analysis in soil vapour sampling assessment offers dual value, by identifying potential risk, and providing data for interpretation of natural attenuation processes occurring. A review of general gas data across 24 sites has identified that the maximum methane concentration detected in soil vapour samples exceeded the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL, 5% vol) at over a third of the sites. A review was undertaken to identify whether parameters typically assessed at contaminated petroleum sites may be useful for identifying problematic sites. The review included the comparison of methane concentrations with; presence of light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL), the inferred groundwater velocity, surface covering, vadose zone lithology and air porosity, and the depth to groundwater.

Doronila A.I.,University of Melbourne | Maddox L.E.,Coffey Environments | Reichman S.M.,RMIT University | King D.J.,Sinclair Knight Mertz | And 2 more authors.
Minerals Engineering | Year: 2014

The stabilization of sulphidic wastes produced by underground gold mining is challenging because these materials are often structureless, saline and contain elevated levels of toxic metalloids. A glasshouse study was conducted to test a milled benign waste rock and topsoil. The test species were, Bothriochloa macra (Steud) S.T. Blake and Enteropogon acicularis (Lindl.) Lazarides, two warm season drought-tolerant native grasses from Australia with the potential to be used for phytostabilization. Rhizocylinders were used in order to examine root structures for plants grown in the various treatments. Soil water samples were also extracted from the various substrates and analyzed for soluble arsenic (As), along with pH, electrical conductivity and redox potential. Growth trials were carried out for 100 days. Growth indices, including biomass accumulation, leaf area, root:shoot ratio and chlorophyll fluorescence were measured along with relative growth rate (RGR) calculations. Results showed a significant decrease in growth across all growth indices for grasses grown on mine tailings. An oxidized waste rock layer and topsoil exhibited high growth, especially for the species E. acicularis. Small amounts of As were detected in the leaf tissue of B. macra and E. acicularis after growth in As contaminated substrates, but it was found that As levels in plant tissue did not correlate with As levels in the soil water. These grasses did not readily accumulate As, and it is highly unlikely that any As contained in the grass material will biomagnified through the food chain or increase environmental pollution from mine sites. Substrate analysis found the highest bioavailable levels of As occurred in the crushed oxidized rock matrix. However, when compared to growth results, this substrate supported significantly high growth. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Finlayson G.R.,Coffey Environments | Finlayson G.R.,University of Sydney | Diment A.N.,University of Sydney | Mitrovski P.,Coffey Environments | And 2 more authors.
Australian Mammalogy | Year: 2010

A reliable estimate of population size is of paramount importance for making management decisions on species of conservation significance that may be impacted during development. The western ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis) is regularly encountered during urban development and is the subject of numerous surveys to estimate its abundance. A variety of techniques have been used for this species with mixed results. This paper reports on a case study using distance sampling to estimate density of P. occidentalis in a small habitat remnant near Busselton, Western Australia. Density estimates obtained were within the range of previous studies of this species and we suggest that this technique should be employed in future surveys to improve the accuracy of population estimates for this species before development. © Australian Mammal Society 2010.

Martin D.,Coffey Environments
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production 2010 | Year: 2010

Even on the most high-risk projects in the some of the most challenging locations, it is possible and even advantageous to progress the social and environmental aspirations of host communities and contribute towards improving the lives of those communities. This paper discusses the business case for developers for establishing joint development goals with host communities. It case studies a number of complex projects that are upturning traditional approaches to project development by engaging host communities in the development proposition. The paper, supported by the case studies, considers: • The importance of establishing the broader social aspirations of communities in relation to development at the outset. • The criticality of establishing a mutual understanding of the commercial, non-negotiable parameters of the developer. • The cumulative impacts and opportunities for both developer and community of multiple, large scale projects. • The role of government and donors. • The limitations of developers in contributing to broader social development. The paper examines the social impact assessment and performance techniques used to understand and manage the risks and opportunities of oil and gas development. It illustrates the effectiveness of such an approach and provides practical experience for the benefit of future oil and gas exploration and production. The case studies presented in this paper demonstrate the advantages of progressing project and social development aspirations mutually with commercial project development. They illustrate how oil and gas development can be a powerful force in the long-term, sustainable progression of developing societies. The concepts described herein expand the boundaries of leading practice in respect to environmental and social impact assessment, community engagement and social responsibility in the oil and gas industry. Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

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