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EPA considers proposal for a basalt quarry at Lewisham

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed quarry off Lewisham Rd, Lewisham, in the Municipality of Sorell.

Under the proposal, Tinning Earthmoving Pty Ltd intends to produce up to 5,000 cubic metres of crushed basalt per annum, which is defined as a Level 2 activity under the State’s environmental legislation. The activity includes the extraction of rock material by ripping and pushing followed by crushing and screening.

The EPA Director, Mr Wes Ford made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board. He concluded the proposed quarry operation could be developed and managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. These conditions must be included in any permit subsequently granted by the Sorell Council.

Mr. Ford said that no representations were received in relation to the permit application during the period of public consultation.

"Various environmental issues were considered in my assessment, particularly the potential impacts on the nearby Pittwater-Orielton lagoon from surface runoff associated with quarry operations," he said.

"A number of conditions have been imposed to ensure careful management of flora and fauna associated with the nearby wetlands.

"Two conditions, namely protection of a threatened flora species and a survey for the green and gold frog, will serve to preserve threatened habitat on the quarry site and help identify the presence of, and protect if necessary, a threatened fauna species," said Mr Ford.

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 protect the environment of 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 Director’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to Sorell 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 Director can be viewed on the EPA website at www.epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments