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EPA considers proposal to upgrade a sand mine near Anderson Bay, Bridport

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal to increase production and develop infrastructure for an offshore loading facility at a sand mine a near Anderson Bay, Bridport in the Dorset municipality.

The proposal involves an increase in extraction and materials handling limit from 950,000 to 1,250,000 cubic metres of sand extracted per annum at the sand mine located within mining lease 1957P/M near Anderson Bay, Bridport. Associated with the proposal is the development of infrastructure to support a future offshore sand loading facility within proposed mining lease 2007P/M, which abuts lease 1957P/M on the southwest boundary. Any offshore sand loading facility will be subject to a separate development application to Dorset Council.

The Chair of the EPA Board, Mr Warren Jones, said that the Board concluded the proposed development could be 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 Dorset Council.

"Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, particularly natural values and noise," said Mr Jones.

"Conditions have been imposed to ensure buffer zones are in place to exclude the extractive activity from wetland areas, and ensure the nesting habitat of shorebirds including the hooded plover is not disturbed during the breeding season," he said.

"Conditions have also been imposed to specify noise limits for day time, evening and night time operations" Mr Jones said.

No public representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was referred to the Board in August 2016. Public consultation was open for a 28 day period commencing 13 August 2016.

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 the EMPC Act, 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 the Act.

The Board’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to the Dorset 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/assessment/completed-assessments

The Environment Protection Authority acknowledges the Tasmanian Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of lutruwita (Tasmania) and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.