The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed upgrade to a clay quarry at 1521 Illawarra Rd, Carrick in the municipality of Meander Valley.
The proposal involves the expansion of the current clay quarry to allow extraction of up to 20,000 cubic metres of clay per annum.
The Chair of the EPA Board, Warren Jones, said that the Board concluded the quarry could be developed and 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 Meander Valley Council,” Mr Jones said.
“Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, particularly the potential for noise and dust impacts on nearby residents,” he said.
“The proponent will be required to manage dust so that it doesn’t cause environmental nuisance beyond the boundary of the Land.
“Noise emission limits and a noise survey – to confirm that the activity complies with the limits – will be required under any permit granted,” said Mr Jones.
The period of public consultation regarding the permit application commenced on 21 November 2015 and ran for 16 days. One representation was received, raising a number of issues with the main focus on noise and dust from the current activity and the potential for increased impacts with the expansion of the quarry. These matters were considered by the Board in its assessment. There was also concern about the visual impact of the quarry, which will be assessed by the Council.
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 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 EMPCA.
The Board’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to the Meander Valley 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