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EPA considers proposal for a quarry upgrade at Heemskirk Road, Granville Harbour

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed upgrade to Heemskirk Road quarry, Granville Harbour within the West Coast Council municipality.

The proposal by Gaspersic Contracting Pty Ltd involves an increase in the permitted extraction limit for the hard rock quarry, which is an existing Level 1 activity, to enable a maximum production of 19,995 tonnes per annum. The quarry is located in State Forest on the southern side of the Heemskirk Road, 18 km from Zeehan towards Granville Harbour.

The EPA Director, Wes Ford, made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board. He 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 West Coast Council.

"Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, particularly dust and noise emissions from the quarry operations and the management of stormwater," Mr Ford said.

"Dust production is expected to be limited and separation distances are sufficient to prevent impacts on the nearest residences, so the conditions imposed by the EPA require the management of dust on the land and traffic areas," he said.

Mr Ford said that noise from the quarry operations and vehicle movements was not expected to cause environmental harm or nuisance to the nearest residences.

"The proposed stormwater management was considered appropriate for the activity and this is reflected in the standard conditions, requiring the construction of perimeter drains and the maintenance of a sediment pond," said Mr Ford.

No representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was referred to the Board in May 2017. Public consultation was open for a 14 day period commencing 9 August 2017.

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 the Act.The Director’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to West Coast 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

The Environment Protection Authority acknowledges the Tasmanian Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of lutruwita (Tasmania) and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.