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EPA considers proposal for sand extraction at Penna

​The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by R & P Morey for sand extraction at Flexmore Park, 716 Shark Pont Road, Penna in the Sorell Council municipality.

The proposal is for approval to extract up to 20,000 cubic meters of sand and topsoil products per year. It covers the extraction by excavator of discreet sand ridges on the property at Penna, the transport by truck of excavated material for screening, and the screening and stockpiling, ready for transport. The purpose of the proposal is for both commercial sale of sand products and farm improvements.

The EPA Director, Mr Wes Ford who made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board, 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 Sorell Council.

“Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, particularly noise, surface water management, air emissions and acid sulfate soils,” Mr Ford said.

“To ensure noise from the activity does not cause an environmental nuisance, noise limit conditions were imposed along with a restriction to operating hours, the requirement to maintain a complaints register and the requirement to undertake a noise survey if required,” he said.

“The proponent is required to implement appropriate management measures to ensure dust does not cause environmental nuisance beyond the boundary of the land, and is also required to contain sediments onsite and to capture and treat surface water runoff.

“A condition requiring the proponent and operator to be aware of how to identify and manage potential acid sulfate soils was also imposed,” said Mr Ford.

Eight representations were received in relation to the permit application. The issues raised in these representations were traffic issues, Aboriginal heritage, potential for acid sulfate soils and potential impacts on the adjacent Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon Ramsar wetland. Public consultation was open for an 18 day period from the 1 to 18 December 2018.

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 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, R & P Morey and Sorell Council and for their information.

The decision by the EPA Director can be viewed on the EPA website at http://epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments