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EPA considers proposal for laminated veneer lumber mill at Lonnavale

29 May 2015

The Board of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed laminated veneer lumber mill at the Huon Wood Centre, Lonnavale in the Huon Valley. The proposal was referred by the Huon Valley Council to the EPA for assessment as a level 2 activity.

Determination was made by the EPA Director Mr Wes Ford, under delegation from the Board. The environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have now been forwarded to Council for its review of planning issues and a decision regarding the granting of a permit.

Under the proposal, submitted by Newood Huon Pty Ltd on behalf of Oak Tasmania, a building would be constructed to house the operation of a mill for the manufacture of up to 35,000 cubic metres of laminated veneer lumber per annum. The laminated veneer lumber mill would use single veneer sheets from an existing rotary peel veneer mill at the Huon Wood Centre to manufacture the laminated veneer product.

Mr Ford concluded the proposed mill could be developed and managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner. He gave consideration to various environmental issues, particularly the potential for impacts on the nearest dwelling from noise and dust arising from mill operations.

“In assessing the proposal, I have recommended standard conditions to ensure careful management of noise and dust emissions from the mill,” Mr Ford said.

“I have also recommended a site-specific condition to ensure wood residues from the mill, such as veneer off-cuts and sawdust, are disposed of at a facility approved to receive this material,” he said.

The proposal was considered in the context of the sustainable development objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System of Tasmania (RMPS) and also the objectives of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control System (EMPCS) established by the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994.

The functions of the Board are to administer and enforce the provisions of the Act, and in particular to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania, and to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives.

The Director, as delegate of the Board, undertook the assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of the EMPC Act.

The decision by the EPA can be viewed on the EPA website.

Go to: http://epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments