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EPA considers proposal for quarry upgrade at Porcupine Hill, Forthside

​The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Treloar Transport Co for a quarry upgrade at Forthside in the Devonport municipality.

The proposal is to increase the use of an existing quarry at Porcupine Hill, Forthside, involving the extraction of quartzite material at a rate of up to 18,750 cubic metres per year. Drilling and blasting operations are expected to occur about twice each year.

The EPA Director, Mr Wes Ford, who made the determination under delegation from the EPA 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 Devonport City Council.

“Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, particularly noise from drilling and blasting operations,” Mr Ford said.

“Conditions have been imposed to confine drilling and blasting to specific hours from Monday to Friday, and to ensure emissions from drilling and blasting, such as noise, comply with specified limits,” he said.

“Treloar Transport Co will also be required to conduct a noise survey during the first instance of drilling, and monitor all blasting events.

“The company is also required to give Council, near neighbours and the EPA at least three days written notice of all instances of intended drilling, and inform the EPA at least 24 hours notice of all planned blasting events,” said Mr Ford.

Three representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was referred to the EPA in January 2018. The environmental issues raised included potential impacts from blasting events, quarry noise, and weed and disease management. Public consultation was open for a 14 day period commencing 13 January 2018.

The proposal was considered by the Director 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 EPA are to administer and enforce the provisions of EMPCA, and in particular to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania, and to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives.

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

The Director’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to Devonport 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 Director can be viewed on the EPA website at http://epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments