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EPA considers proposal for Used Tyre Operation at Longford

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) concluded its assessment of a proposed tyre storage and shredding operation in the Northern Midlands Council municipality.

The proposal by Tyre Recycle Tasmania Pty Ltd involves the delivery, storage and shredding of ‘end of life’ tyres at a site situated at 437 Woolmers Lane, Longford. Shredding of up to 7,800 tonnes per year of tyres is forecast, comprising a mix of tyres from a co-located existing tyre stockpile and new deliveries.

The Chair of the EPA Board, Mr Warren Jones, said that the Board concluded the proposed tyre shredding operation 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 Northern Midlands Council.

Public consultation for the proposal was open for a 14-day period commencing 19 October 2016, and four public representations were received.

Mr Jones said the issues raised in the representations which were relevant to the Board’s assessment related mainly to the potential for environmental harm due to a fire in stored tyres. Other concerns related to market arrangements for the products of tyre shredding, ongoing stockpiling of tyres and management of weeds and diseases.

"Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, particularly fire risk and management," said Mr Jones.

"The EPA’s conditions to minimise the potential for a tyre fire include ensuring the activity operates in accordance with industry best practice guidelines for rubber tyre storage, and restricting the quantity of tyres on site at any one time," he said.

"The Board took care to distinguish the shredding operation from the existing stockpile of tyres on the site which is regulated by the Northern Midlands Council. The Board’s conditions relate only to the shredding operation and any short-term storage of feedstock for the shredder.

"Conditions also require shredding to occur during the day time, on week days only, and the preparation and implementation of a weed and disease management plan," said Mr Jones.

The proposal was considered by the Board 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 Board are to administer and enforce the provisions of EMPCA, and in particular to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania, and to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives.

The Board undertook the assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of EMPCA.

The Board’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 Board can be viewed on the EPA website at www.epa.tas.gov.au/assessments/completed-assessments