Pragmatic marine environmental risk management and compliance


Biofouling Compliance

Biofouling is expensive. It can destroy or damage assets, lead to inefficiencies in operations or exclusions from certain ports and project areas, and imposes maintenance penalties. Management costs can skyrocket with remediation and reputational damage if vessel biofouling leads to the introduction of an invasive marine species (IMS) to a coastal area.

PGM Environment’s team has conducted over 500 ship biofouling inspections and risk assessments particularly on vessels bound for environmentally sensitive areas of Australia and New Zealand.

PGM Environment delivers practical and pragmatic biofouling and IMS management advice. Our solutions balance marine biosecurity expectations with a solid understanding of ship and port operational requirements and maintenance practices.

PGM Environment has expertise in:

  • IMS quarantine protocols

  • Biofouling cleaning and inspections

  • Biofouling management procedures

  • Biofouling vulnerability assessments

  • Vector characterisations

  • Development and implementation of ship Biofouling Management Plans and mandated Biofouling Record Books.



Underwater Noise and its Environmental Impact

Underwater noise and its environmental impact can be expensive to address and emotive.

PGM Environment is recognised internationally for the pragmatic assessment and management of all sources of man-made (anthropogenic) underwater noise. Sources of noise include pile driving, trenching, dredging, explosive blasting, drilling, seismic survey, all forms of sonar, and ship, boat and aircraft movements

PGM’s expertise in anthropogenic noise saves time and money. For example, PGM’s staff advised on assessment and mitigation measures for a pile driving and dredging project. Regulators initially mandated extensive acoustic modelling coupled with verification monitoring. Our team determined a more focused, lower cost solution. By leveraging available information combined with good science, they were able to develop and then demonstrate the efficacy of sensible risk mitigation strategies. That approach saved months in planning and evaluation at very much lower cost for a better outcome.

PGM personnel have undertaken marine acoustic assessment work throughout Australia and for an array of global customers, and have spoken, by invitation, on underwater noise and environmental impact in Australia, the USA, Italy, Denmark, Ireland, Latvia and the Netherlands. PGM Environment is a regular invitee to NATO seminars on this subject.


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Decommissioning, Disposal and SEA Dumping

Safe and effective disposal is necessary at the end of an asset’s life , with sea dumping one available option.

PGM Environment’s team has had a role in the planning and supervision of the safe disposal of more than fifty significant maritime assets. Those assets include ships, boats, barges, offshore petroleum assets, marine renewable energy infrastructure and impounded and derelict vessels. Some of these vessels and other items have been repurposed as dive sites, some destroyed as military training targets, some left in position and others placed as artificial reefs.

Expertise in this field includes:

  • Disposal planning

  • Supervision of cleaning to ensure environmental standards

  • Planning and oversight of preparations for recreational SCUBA diver access

  • Site selection and evaluation

  • Towing contingencies

  • Placement procedures

  • Permit applications and assessments

  • Post-disposal inspection and safety

  • Long-term ecological monitoring


Offshore Environmental Management

Offshore oil and gas projects present environmental challenges through their lifecycle. During exploration there are issues around noise emissions in seismic surveys, which then transition through the field development and operational phases. Once in operation there are matters such as biofouling risks, waste disposal and venting and, eventually, there are decommissioning and closure challenges.

PGM Environment’s team has developed and delivered the environment components of numerous offshore petroleum exploration and environment plans (EPs) and Offshore Production Plans (OPPs) for many of the world’s leading petroleum companies.


Ship Operations

The keys to minimising environmental compliance costs in ship operations are effective protocols and good processes. PGM Environment has considerable experience and expertise with environmental compliance management for ships. This spans the full life spectrum for ships, from concept development and design, through build, trials, operations, through-life-support, and maintenance, repair and modification, through to decommissioning and disposal.

PGM Environment’s team has delivered projects across a range of operational issues including:

  • Ship design consistent with marine environment protection regulations

  • Biofouling control

  • Ballast water management

  • Ship waste management, for both ships and ports

  • The environmental risks and management of ship operations

Ballast water is a very significant vector for the introduction of invasive marine species (IMS). PGM Environment’s team used the expertise developed as a key participant in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) GloBallast Programme to develop pragmatic protocols to manage ship ballast water compliance requirements.

Ships produce a wide array of wastes, including solid and liquid materials. PGM Environment has developed multiple environmentally effective solutions for the management of ship’s waste that comply with stringent ship waste management regulations.

To assist in routine biofouling inspections PGM Environment has developed a range of inspection tools and protocols for several customers. These tools empower those customers to conduct routine inspections and maintenance functions on the subject vessels without the need for specialist input.

PGM’s expertise was relied upon by the Australian government agencies to develop the Australian National Biofouling Management Guidance for the Petroleum Production and Exploration Industry. Those guidelines were subsequently used as the template for the National Biofouling Management Guidance for Non-Trading Vessels.

Policy Writing/Environmental Planning Guides

PGM Environment has extensive experience in both writing formal environmental policy and in converting that into easy to follow compliance documents that deliver the outcome required without further specialist input. This work has spanned the spectrum from international regulation through to specific operational applications and working instructions. For example, the PGM team have made significant contributions to:

  • IMO promulgated international Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ships' Biofouling to Minimize the Transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species.

  • Australian National Guidelines For Interaction Between Offshore Seismic Exploration and Whales, implemented under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

  • AQIS National Border Biofouling Protocol for Apprehended and International Vessels Less Than 25 m in Length (review and amendment).

  • Various Guides to Environmental Compliance for a range of clients and regulators.



PGM Environment delivers pragmatic advice in the aviation domain, encompassing both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. The PGM team has delivered workable solutions such as:

  • Environmental management plans (EMP) for airfields and related infrastructure

  • Environmental compliance and risk reviews for aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles

  • Pragmatic advice on the recognition and management of environmental risks for aircrew and operational planners

  • Minimisation of the potential impacts of aviation operations on environmentally sensitive areas such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Jervis Bay Marine Park