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EPA Director considers Smartfibre woodchip mill expansion at Bell Bay

The EPA Director has concluded an assessment of the proposed expansion of the Smartfibre woodchip mill at Bell Bay.

Under the proposal, the facility would increase production capacity from 500,000 tonnes per annum to 800,000 tonnes per annum.

EPA Director Alex Schaap says he determined that the proposed facility could be developed and managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions.

"Smartfibre submitted a proposal to install an additional chipper and associated infrastructure to enable the increase in production capacity," Mr. Schaap said.

"I gave consideration to various environmental issues, particularly noise. The noise emission limits that must be met are the same as those that currently apply to the existing operation."

"The modelling conducted for the proposal determined the most appropriate location and sound proofing to enable the company to meet their current noise limits while using the additional chipper."

Mr. Schaap said no representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was submitted in May 2014.

The environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to the George Town Council.

The decision can be viewed on the EPA Website in the heading under Completed Assessments‚Äč.