Department of the Environment and Water Resources, 2007
Australian Antarctic Division Environmental Performance
In 2005-06, AAD achieved 14 (44%) of 32 environmental performance improvement goals set. See our performance at a glance.
Key performance data include:
- recertification of the AAD environmental management system (EMS) to the 2004 version of the ISO14001 standard
- environmental management integrated into the construction of the new blue ice airstrip in Antarctica
- at Antarctic stations, the average daily water use per person has decreased compared with last year at Macquarie Island (21%), Casey (17%) and Davis (32%), and has increased at Mawson (17%)
- 806 tonnes of waste was generated (up from 396 tonnes in 2004-05), but a significant proportion of this was waste returned from the Antarctic as part of operations to remediate previous waste disposal
- 47 954 tonnes of CO2-e was emitted, mainly from shipping and use of diesel for power generation.
Key environmental performance goals for 2006-07 include:
- achieve a successful onsite external audit of environmental management at the Antarctic stations of Macquarie Island and Casey during March and April 2007
- progress the remediation of an oil spill on Macquarie Island
- continue to investigate options to increase water capacity at Davis station
- investigate options to capture supplier environmental performance information within AAD’s business systems.
The 2004-05 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions totals for the Australian Antarctic Division were materially incorrect, due to a conversion error. Emissions from Antarctic base use of light diesel were reported as being 1 462 653 tonnes, of a total of 1 463 430 tonnes emitted. The estimated correct figure for station emissions should have been 6320 tonnes, reducing the total AAD emissions to 39 765 tonnes. This estimate excludes some sites and activities where robust data cannot be provided, so is likely to be a significant underestimate. This then means that DEH’s total GHG emissions for 2004-05 should be 46 590 tonnes of CO2-e, and not 1 499 154 tonnes.
Case study: managing fuel spills in Antarctica
Technology developed to clean up polluted groundwater-typically from mining or agricultural activities-is being modified to work in Antarctica, to halt the flow of a large plume of diesel split at Casey in 1999. A permeable reactive barrier has been built downhill of the spill, and will be trialled over the next five to eight years for its ability to remove the fuel, which is released from its ice prison each summer when the snow melts.