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EPA considers proposal for Sandstone Quarry at Sally Peak, Buckland

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed sandstone quarry at Buckland in the Glamorgan Spring Bay municipality.

The proposal by Mr Nick Ferrar is to develop a sandstone quarry (with two active faces) on the property ‘Sally Peak’ at Buckland with a combined annual production limit of 50,000 cubic metres per annum.

The permit application was referred to the EPA in August 2015 and the public consultation period ran for 28 days, commencing on 5 September 2015. Fifteen of the 19 representations received during public consultation supported the development while four raised concerns in relation to dust, noise and stormwater management.

The Chair of the EPA Board, Warren Jones, said that the Board concluded the quarry 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 Glamorgan Spring Bay Council.

"Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, in particular dust and noise emissions from the quarry operations and the movement of vehicles and equipment, as well as stormwater management," Mr Jones said.

"Based on the extraction methodology, dust production is expected to be limited and separation distances are sufficient to prevent impacts on the nearest residences.

"Hence, the conditions imposed by the EPA require the management of dust on the land and traffic areas, and in relation to vehicle loads.

Mr Jones said that noise from the quarry operations and vehicle movements was not expected to cause environmental harm or nuisance to the nearest residences.

"Noise will be managed through standard noise conditions restricting operational hours, in accordance with recommendations of the Quarry Code of Practice, and restricting the transport of products from the quarry to an internal haul road.

"The proponent will also be required to refer any noise complaints to the EPA Director with 24 hours and maintain a complaints register.

"The proposed stormwater management mitigation and management measures were considered appropriate for the activity and are reflected in the standard conditions requiring the construction of perimeter drains at both quarry faces and the design and maintenance of sediment ponds," said Mr Jones.

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 EMPCA, 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 EMPCA.

The Board’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to the Glamorgan Spring Bay 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