Assessment of the effects of underwater noise from the proposed Neptune LNG project

Open Access Report 2005

Ecology and Environment

The proposed Neptune LNG project will deliver LNG to offshore deepwater ports for regasification and shipment to shore by pipeline. Details of the project are discussed in the main application. The relevant aspects are discussed later in the present report. The proposed project activities during construction and operation will introduce noise into the water column, which may affect marine animals. The potential for those effects to occur and their significance are addressed in this assessment. The potential for ship-collisions with marine mammals was not part of the scope of the present assessment and is discussed elsewhere in the application materials. Three groups of marine animals are considered: marine mammals (whales and seals), sea turtles, and marine fish and invertebrates. The assessment consists of four parts. (1) The first part of the assessment determines the species and numbers in each group that are present in the area likely to be influenced by the project. This is followed by (2) a review of the known effects of the types of noise emanating from the Neptune project based on information from other studies. Part (3) is an acoustic analysis of the source levels of the various project noises followed by modeling of the propagation of the noises out from the source. Finally, (4) the propagation results are combined with the animal density data to determine the numbers of animals that might be exposed to the noise. This is followed by an assessment of potential effects based on the known responses of these animals as determined in other studies.

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