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EPA Board considers proposal for Tassal fish waste processing facility

The EPA Board has concluded its assessment of the proposed construction and operation of a fish waste processing facility outside Triabunna on the state’s east coast.

Under the proposal, the Tassal facility would process up to 20,000 tonnes of fish waste from the aquaculture industry into valuable commodities such as fish oils and health products.

The Chair of the EPA Board John Ramsay says the Board has decided the proposed facility could be developed and managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions.

"Tassal Operations Pty Ltd submitted a proposal to build and operate the facility to be located off the Tasman Highway approximately five kilometres north of Triabunna," Mr Ramsay said.

Mr. Ramsay said nine representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was submitted in January 2014. Seven of these representations were supportive of the proposal.

He said the EPA Board gave consideration to various environmental issues, particularly odour and wastewater management.

"The two public representations that were not supportive of the proposal were concerned about the potential odour impacts on tourists and residents, and the proposed irrigation of the wastewater at the site," Mr. Ramsay said.

"The Board has recommended site specific odour conditions to ensure the facility meets the requirements of the state Air Policy."

"The operator will also be required to undertake a survey to ensure the facility is meeting the Air Policy requirements," Mr. Ramsay said.

The Board has also recommended site specific conditions to manage the wastewater irrigation.

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 EMPC Act.

The functions of the Board are to administer and enforce the provisions of the 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 EMPC Act.

The EPA Board’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to Glamorgan Spring Bay Council. One of the representations that did not support the proposal also raised issues in relation to the planning scheme. As is usual procedure, the Council will review planning issues before deciding whether a permit is to be granted.

The decision by the EPA Board can be viewed on the Assessment page.