An update to the environmental impact assessment, expected to take place next year, will consider how the change in design has affected the likely impact of the port project.
Dave Anglin, a senior coastal engineer with Baird and Associates, which carried out the 2015 study, said the changes would mean less damage to the environment.
He said the piers had been redesigned to reduce dredging.
Baird is in the process of putting together a ‘scoping document’ outlining the terms of reference for an updated study. That document will be vetted and approved by the Environmental Assessment Board, chaired by Department of Environment Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie, before the update takes place.
“In general, the scoping document will highlight that in critical areas the adverse impacts to the environment will be less,” said Anglin.
“That is not a surprising outcome because the whole objective over the last few years was to do that.”
He said the design layout had evolved to achieve a “smaller dredging footprint and smaller dredging volume”.
Anglin said he was happy with the environmental impact assessment’s original conclusion that Seven Mile Beach would not be impacted by the cargo and cruise port port project.
“The EIA looked at past studies,” he said. “We did quite a bit of modelling and analysis of wind, waves and currents.”
“We are quite confident with the conclusion that the project will not adversely impact Seven Mile Beach. That will remain the conclusion,” Anglin added.
Overall, he said, the changes to the design, the mitigation plan and the dredging methods would mean less impact to the environment.
“The reduction from the EIA version is pretty substantial,” he said. “A real effort was made to minimise impacts as part of the design.”