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EPA Board considers proposal for salmon waste composting facility

The EPA Board has concluded its assessment of the proposed operation of a fish waste composting facility near Police Point in the state’s south east.

Under the proposal, the Huon Aquaculture Group’s aerobic windrow composting facility would produce up to 2,400 tonnes per annum of finished compost, by processing salmon mortalities from Huon’s nearby salmon farms combined with wood waste.

It is envisaged that the final compost product will be sold on to local landscaping businesses and/or used on local properties for soil improvement.

EPA Chair 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.

"The Huon Aquaculture Group submitted a proposal to operate the composting facility to be located on private property located off the Glendevie Road, near Police Point, north of Dover," Mr. Ramsay said.

Mr. Ramsay said one representation was received in relation to the permit application. The representation raised concerns in relation to dust, noise and odour from vehicles transporting fish mortalities to the site.

He said the EPA Board gave consideration to various environmental issues, particularly the potential for nuisance odour to be experienced by nearby residents, and potential for contamination of surface and groundwaters by leachate generated by the composting process.

"The Board has recommended site-specific conditions relating to management of the composting process so that the risk of odour nuisance occurring is minimal, and construction of the facility to ensure contamination of surface and groundwater by leachate does not occur," Mr. Ramsay said.

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 Huon 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 Board can be viewed on the Assessment page.