The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed limestone quarry at Roberts Road, Maydena in the Derwent Valley municipality.
The proposal by Jenkins Hire Pty Ltd and Stroud Pty Limited is for the development of a limestone quarry, the Upper Derwent Valley Hard-rock Quarry (UDVHQ). The quarry would produce up to 30,000 cubic metres of product per annum and includes drilling, blasting, and crushing processes.
The Chair of the EPA Board, Mr 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 Derwent Valley Council.
“Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, particularly impacts to karst features and systems, water quality, noise and vibration,” said Mr Jones.
“Conditions have been imposed to manage blasting events to limit potential for impact to significant karst features and to respond in the event that impacts are identified,” he said.
“Noise emission limits will apply to the activity and operating hours have been restricted to reflect the Quarry Code of Practice and concerns raised in representations. Water quality limits and monitoring have also been imposed,” said Mr Jones.
Council received 22 representations in relation to the permit application, which was referred to the Board in October 2016. The environmental issues raised in representations included noise, karst impacts, threatened species impacts, air emissions, water quality and rehabilitation.
The Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan was released for public inspection for a 28-day period commencing on 10 December 2016, and extended accordingly to comply with relevant day exclusions pursuant to s27K of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA) and s57(5AA) of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.
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 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 the Act.
The Board’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to the Derwent 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.