The National Assessment Guidelines for Dredging 2009 (NAGD) seeks to provide clear, consistent standards and criteria for assessment of dredged material, and to facilitate better decision-making by regulators, by improving the quality of information on which assessments are based. The NAGD are actively used by all ports and regulators, and form the basis of the approvals process. It must be addressed as part of an application under the Sea Dumping Act.
The NAGD sets out the framework for the environmental impact assessment and permitting of the ocean disposal of dredged material. The framework includes:
- evaluating alternatives to ocean disposal
- assessing loading and disposal sites
- assessing potential impacts on the marine environment and other users
- determining management and monitoring requirements.
The intention of the NAGD is to provide greater certainty about the assessment and permitting process behind dredging approval applications. Although not a legislative act, the NAGD provides guidance for all dredging activities undertaken in Australian Waters. The NAGD should be read in conjunction with the Sea Dumping Act and its Regulations, the EPBC Act, the GBRMP Act and Australia’s international obligations outlined in the London Protocol.