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EPA considers proposal for wood processing and woodchip mill at Bell Bay

​The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Patriarch and Sons for a wood processing works in the form of a veneer and plywood mill, and a woodchip mill at an existing industrial site at 17 Bell Bay Road, Bell Bay in the George Town municipality.

The proposed development is to occur in three stages. The first stage is for green rotary peeled veneer leaf production, the second for dried rotary peeled veneer leaf, and the third is for a laminated veneer lumber (LVL) or plywood mill. This assessment covers all three proposed stages of production for volumes up to 96,000m3 of veneer and plywood (or LVL) per annum and up to 80,000 tonnes of woodchip per annum.

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 George Town Council.

“Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, particularly air and noise emissions,” said Mr Ford.

“Air emissions will be addressed through emission limits on particulates and oxides of nitrogen, and stack testing, and noise will also be managed through emission limits,” he said.

Three representations were received in relation to the permit application. The environmental issues raised in these representations were related to sourcing of native timber for the facility, a matter beyond the Board’s responsibilities for the assessment. Public consultation was open for a 14 day period from 12 January 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 the applicant and George Town Council for their information.

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