The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Nabowla Quarries Pty Ltd for the expansion of Nabowla Quarry, Nabowla in Dorset.
The proposal is to produce and process up to 50,000 cubic metres (approximately 80,000 tonnes) per annum of rock and gravel, an increase from 20,000 cubic metres. The process involves mechanical crushing and screening, and includes up to one blast per annum if required.
The EPA Director, Mr 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 Board requires these conditions to be included in any permit subsequently granted by the Dorset Council.
“Various environmental issues were considered during the assessment, in particular the potential for noise to impact on sensitive receptors,” said Mr Ford.
“The EPA has placed a condition on the quarry’s hours of operation in order to minimise potential noise impacts.
“Quarrying activities will only be permitted between 7am and 7pm on weekdays, and between 8am and 4pm on Saturdays,” he said.
“Blasting will also be restricted to the hours between 10am and 4pm weekdays, and all residences within a 1 kilometre radius of the quarry will be notified before each blasting event,” Mr Ford said.
Three representations were received in relation to the permit application. The environmental issues raised in these representations were in relation to noise and dust impacts on nearby residential properties and tourism activities. Public consultation was open for a 14 day period from 4 May 2019.
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 Nabowla Quarries Pty Ltd and Dorset Council for their information.
The decision by the EPA Director in relation the Nabowla Quarry Expansion is available to be viewed on this website.