B1.3 - Verified assessment of impacts: Macrofauna
The verification programme addresses the impacts associated with dredging within the target dredge area SP-1. The Environmental Impact Assessment (of 2012) concluded, "The opinion of the specialists and the independent reviewer is that there are presently no identified issues of environmental significance to preclude the dredging of phosphate-enriched sediments from the Mining Licence Area No. 170. In order to verify these conclusions, a programme of work specified by the relevant specialists, has been included in the Environmental Management Programme that will be undertaken prior to the commencement of dredging to substantiate the findings provided in the impact assessment. Going forward, all environmental matters will need to be managed through the environmental management plan." An expanded verification programme was undertaken following discussions with and information provided by external reviewers, (as commissioned by the Environmental Commissioner, MET) MFMR and I&APs) during 2012 and 2014. NMP's specialist consultants and the independent reviewing parties confirm, based on the results of the verification programme that the assessments as presented in the EIA (2012) are reliable and that these assessments now can be reported with a high degree of confidence. The impacts assessed in the 2012 EIA are reassessed here.