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EPA considers proposal for hard rock and gravel quarry, Campbell Town

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed hard rock and gravel quarry on Valleyfield Road, Campbell Town in the Northern Midlands.

The proposal is for a hard rock and gravel quarry with an upper limit of 20,000 cubic metres per annum. Quarrying activities would include site preparation, drilling and blasting, rock removal, rock crushing and screening using a mobile crusher, ripping of gravels, stockpiling of processed material and transport of rock and gravel.

The EPA Director, Wes Ford, made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board, concluding that the proposed quarry could be developed and managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. These conditions are required to be included in any permit subsequently granted by the Northern Midlands Council.

No representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was referred to the Board in September 2015. Public consultation was open for a 14 day period commencing 14 November 2015.

Mr Ford explained that various environmental issues were considered in his assessment, in particular dust and noise emissions from the quarry operations and stormwater management.

"Dust production is expected to be limited and separation distances are sufficient to prevent impacts on the nearest residences," said Mr Ford.

"However the EPA’s conditions require the management of dust on the land and traffic areas, and in relation to vehicle loads," he said.

"While noise from the quarry operations and vehicle movements is not expected to cause environmental harm or nuisance to the nearest residences, the proponent will be required to maintain a complaints register.

"The proposed stormwater management and mitigation measures are considered appropriate for the activity.

"These are reflected in the standard conditions requiring the construction of perimeter drains and the design and maintenance of a sediment trap and sediment pond," 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 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 the EMPCA.

The Director’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to the Northern Midlands 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 epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments