The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by GL & DH Males for the Males Sand Pit expansion at South Arm in the Clarence City Council municipality.
The proposal involves the extraction of dune sand from a new area (Area D) within Mining Lease 784P/M. The operation currently operates under a Permit to extract up to 75,000 cubic meters of sand per annum, and this limit will remain unchanged.
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. These conditions will be included in an Environment Protection Notice served by the EPA to GL & DH Males.
“Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment," said Mr Ford.
“The protection of colonies of the threatened large gnat orchid, which were identified within the new area, will be protected through the establishment of an exclusion zone," he said.
“Surface water quality, air and noise emissions were also considered, with the potential impacts being managed largely through standard conditions," Mr Ford said.
One representation was received in relation to the proposal. Public consultation was open for a 28-day period from 6 June 2020. The environmental issues raised in this representation included whether there was actually a shortage of quality dune sand in southern Tasmania and the potential for use of alternatives to dune sand in construction.
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, to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives and, in particular, to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania.
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 report, including the environmental conditions, has been issued to the proponent and those who made a representation for their information.
The decision by the EPA Director can be viewed on the EPA website at https://epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/assessments/gl-and-dh-males-pty-ltd-males-sand-mine-expansion-south-arm