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EPA considers proposal to upgrade Westwood Quarry

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal to increase production at the Westwood Quarry in the Meander Valley municipality.

The proposal involves the expansion of an existing quarry to extract and process up to 50,000 cubic metres of rock per annum on a mining lease at 2355 Bridgenorth Road, Westwood.

The EPA Director, Wes Ford, made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board. He concluded the proposed quarry upgrade 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 Meander Valley Council.

Mr Ford said no representations were received during the public consultation period, and that he had considered various environmental issues in making the assessment, particularly air and noise emissions.

"Dust is likely to be generated from the extraction, processing and storing of material as well as vehicle movements, and noise sources include the extraction, crushing and screening, loading and unloading of material and vehicle movements," he said.

"While the nearest neighbour is 1.6 km to the south of the site and is unlikely to be impacted by dust or noise, standard conditions to control dust and limit the hours of operation to manage noise will be imposed and a complaints register will also be required," said Mr Ford.

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, and in particular to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania, and to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives.

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, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to Meander Valley 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 Director can be viewed on the EPA website at www.epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments