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EPA considers proposal for fish processing at Parramatta Creek, East Sassafras

​The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed fish oil and protein extraction plant at Parramatta Creek, East Sassafras in Latrobe Council.

Huon Aquaculture Group Pty Ltd (Huon) proposes to construct and operate a fish oil and protein extraction plant at its existing Parramatta Creek processing facility at East Sassafras. The proposal involves the conversion of an existing process by-product and waste streams into oil and stock feed components (fishmeal and protein concentrate). The activity is defined as a ‘level 2 activity’ under clause 4(f), schedule 2 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA), being a rendering or fat extraction works which will process up to 850 kilograms per hour of fish waste.

The EPA Director, Wes Ford who made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board, concluded the proposed fish oil and protein extraction plant 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 Latrobe Council.

Mr Ford said that no 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 19 March 2016.

"Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, particularly the management of liquid effluent and odours," he said.

"Conditions have been imposed to require appropriate disposal of wastewater and the undertaking of an odour survey post commissioning of the activity," 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 EMPCA.

The functions of the EPA 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 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 Latrobe 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