The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of the proposed expansion of a gravel quarry near Murdunna on the Forestier Peninsula.
The development application referred by the Tasman Council was for an increase in production at the existing Hylands Road quarry from less than 5,000 cubic metres per year to a maximum of 20,000 cubic metres, requiring an area expansion of less than one hectare. The operation involves the extraction and screening of dolerite gravel and aggregates, including some crushing, drilling and possibly blasting.
The EPA Director, Mr Wes Ford made the decision, under delegation from the EPA Board, concluding that the proposed expansion of the quarry could be developed and managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions.
Mr Ford said he that he had given consideration to various environmental aspects of the quarry’s operation, including noise and blasting, dust emissions, stormwater, flora and fauna, weed and hygiene, traffic impacts, decommissioning and rehabilitation, and waste management and hazardous substances.
“Particular consideration was given to potential noise impacts due to increased on-site equipment use, blasting and vehicle movements accessing the site,” said Mr Ford.
“The proponent was required to undertake a noise investigation, which found that a mobile crusher was likely to produce the greatest noise-related impact,” he said.
“This crusher equipment will be located in the eastern half of the quarry allowing the western crest of the quarry to create a topographic and noise attenuation barrier.
“Other noise levels, including blasting, fall within the limits set by the Quarry Code of Practice 1999,” Mr Ford said.
Mr Ford has also required a number of conditions to control blasting and operation times, dust emissions, effluent disposal and hazardous wastes, as well as decommissioning and rehabilitation at the quarry site.
The proposal was considered in the context of the objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System of Tasmania (RMPS), and the objectives of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control System (EMPCS) established by the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994.
The Director’s conditions must be included in a planning permit should the Tasman Council determine a permit is to be granted.
The decision by the EPA Director can be viewed on the EPA website at www.epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments-2014-2015