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EPA considers proposal for a temporary clay quarry at Cranbrook

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed temporary clay extractive pit located at Synotts Clay Quarry, 90 Youngs Road, Cranbrook in the Glamorgan Spring Bay municipality.

The proposal by Tasmanian Irrigation Pty Ltd is for the temporary extraction of up to 15,000 cubic metres of clay material if required over a 6 month period. The clay would be used for the construction of the Melrose Dam wall as part of the Swan Valley Irrigation Scheme.

The EPA Director, Wes Ford, who made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board, concluded the proposed temporary clay quarry operation could be developed and 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 Glamorgan Spring Bay Council.

Mr Ford said that no public representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was referred to the Board in March 2016, following the 14 day period of public consultation which commenced on 9 April 2016.

"Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, in particular, the management of stormwater and sediment control," Mr Ford said.

"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 be managed through a condition restricting operating hours and another requiring Tasmanian Irrigation to manage the site to ensure dust does not cause environmental nuisance beyond the boundary of the land", 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 the 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 Glamorgan Spring Bay 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