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EPA considers proposal for a second temporary clay extractive pit at Cranbrook

07 October 2016

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed temporary clay extractive pit located at ‘North Borrow’, Tasman Highway, Cranbrook in the Glamorgan Spring Bay municipality.

The proposal by Tasmanian Irrigation is for a temporary (approximately 6 months duration) clay extractive pit to extract up to 40,000 cubic metres of clay material. This proposal, and the recently approved ‘Synotts’ clay extractive pit, are both intended to supply clay materials, if required, for the construction of the Melrose Dam wall, which forms part of the Swan Valley Irrigation Scheme. The proponent has identified the ‘North Borrow’ clay extractive pit as the preferred option should additional clay material be required for dam construction.

The EPA Director, Wes Ford, who made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board, concluded the proposed temporary clay extractive pit could be developed and managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. These conditions will be included in an Environment Protection Notice issued by the EPA.

“Various environmental issues were considered in assessing the proposal, particularly, the management of stormwater and sediment control,” said Mr Ford.

“Tasmanian Irrigation will be required to install perimeter drains and sediment settlement ponds to ensure that any stormwater discharged from the land does not cause environmental harm or nuisance,” he said.

“Air and noise emissions will also need to be managed by Tasmanian Irrigation so that dust does not cause environmental nuisance beyond the boundary of the land, and a condition restricting operating hours has also been included,” said Mr Ford.

No public representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was referred to the Board in August 2016. Public consultation was open for a 14 day period commencing 6 August 2016.

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 control pollution in 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 EMPCA.

The decision by the EPA Director can be viewed on the EPA website at www.epa.tas.gov.au/assessment