Q. How many different soil types have been identified within the Project Boundary ?
A. Eighteen soil types were identified within the Project Boundary.
Q. How has BSAL been characterized and has it now been excluded from the biodiversity offset areas?
A.Site verification of the land within the Project Boundary and biodiversity offsets in accordance with the Interim Protocol for Site Verification and Mapping of Biophysical Strategic Agricultural Land (Interim Protocol) (OEH and DPI, 2013) and the Soil Landscapes of the Curlewis 1:100,000 Map Sheet (Banks, 1995) has not resulted in additional BSAL, beyond the 96 ha, being impacted by the Project.
Furthermore, in response to stakeholder concerns, Shenhua Watermark has excluded all of the BSAL in Offset Area 6 (696 ha) and 514 ha of existing agricultural land on the Additional Offsite Biodiversity Offset Area from the Biodiversity Offset Strategy for the Project to allow for its continued agricultural use.
To compensate for the loss of agricultural land approximately 3,233 ha of Class III rural land capability will be rehabilitated within the Project Boundary post mining, of which approximately 1,000 ha is planned to be dedicated for agriculture.
Q. What is the potential impact of the Project on the soil resources of the Liverpool Plains?
A. Having regard to stakeholder concerns and the results of the Soil Survey and Land Capability Impact Assessment, Shenhua Watermark has committed to maintaining a minimum 150 m buffer from alluvial black soils of the Liverpool Plains. As such, the Project will not directly impact on these valuable agricultural soils.