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EPA considers proposal for an organics processing facility at Mowbray

​​ The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed organics processing facility at Mowbray in the Launceston municipality.

The proposal by Launceston City Council involves undertaking composting activities as part of the current Level 2 Launceston Waste Centre (LWC). The proposal is for production of up to a maximum of 15,000 tonnes per annum of compost product. Forced Aerated Floor (FAF) technology will be used to aerate the compost piles and maintain aerobic conditions to reduce the potential for odour emissions to be created.

The Chair of the EPA Board, Warren Jones, said that the Board concluded the proposed development could be managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. The EPA requires these conditions to be included in any permit subsequently granted by the Launceston City Council.

“Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, particularly air emissions,” Mr Jones said.

“Conditions have been imposed to ensure appropriate management practices are in place during operation of the organics processing facility to reduce the risk of impact to surrounding sensitive receptors from odour emissions,” he said.

No representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was referred to the Board in July 2017. Public consultation was open for a 40 day period commencing 15th July 2017.

The proposal was considered by the Board in the context of the sustainable development objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System of Tasmania (RMPS), and in the context of the objectives of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control System (EMPCS) established by the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA).

The functions of the Board are to administer and enforce the provisions of the EMPCA, and in particular to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania, and to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives.

The Board undertook the assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of the Act.

The Board’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to the Launceston City Council, for review of planning issues prior to making a decision as to whether a permit is to be granted.

The decision by the EPA Board can be viewed on the EPA website at www.epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments.