CONSTRUCTION of the new Dungowan Dam has moved a step closer with the environmental perameters of the project being laid out.
The NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE) has released its secretary's environmental assessment requirements (SEARs), which will help form the project's environmental impact statement (EIS).
Included in the SEARs is a wide range of factors including, flooding, social impacts and land.
The SEARs report calls for the EIS to have "an assessment, modelling and mapping of the impacts on flooding and floodplain behaviour during construction and operation of the project for a full range of flood events."
The secretary's requirements include advice from the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, which has called for the EIS to consider the impacts on several native animals, which it believes may be impacted by the project.
The report says potentially impacted animals may include the Regent Honeyeater, the Swift Parrot and koalas.
In regard to social impacts, the project's proponents will be required to provide "details of how social impacts will be adaptively monitored and managed over time."
The SEARs also factors in climate change, calling for the EIS to include "quantified specific climate change risks with reference to the NSW Government's climate projections and incorporate specific adaptation actions in the design."
As well as, an "assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions from the construction and operation of the project for the life of infrastructure."
The report is the first step towards the new dam's construction, after the $480 million project was announced last year.
The new 22.5 gigalitre storage will be built about 3km downstream from the current Dungowan Dam, which is owned by Tamworth council.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklan estimates the dam will take about four years to build.
Ms Berejikilian said she wanted the Dungowan Dam finished by 2025, and wanted to see construction works begin by the end of this year.
Once the EIS is prepared, the NSW DPIE will arrange for it to go up for public exhibition.