The Chair of the EPA Board, Warren Jones, said that the Board concluded the proposed quarry operation 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 Southern Midlands Council," Mr Jones said.
The proposal by CA & SM Williams is to increase the production capacity of an existing quarry at 1356 Tea Tree Road, Campania to 10,000 cubic metres per year, and to introduce the crushing of material at the quarry. The quarry, which currently operates under a level 1 permit granted by Southern Midlands Council and is permitted to produce up to 5000 cubic meters per year, is located on the Williams’ property and on a mining lease held by Mr Williams.
Public consultation for the proposal was open for a 28 day period commencing 12 December 2015, and 23 public representations were received.
Mr Jones said that 15 of the representations were in favour of the quarry. The issues raised in the remaining representations and which were relevant to the Board’s assessment, related mainly to the potential for environmental nuisance due to quarry operations and cartage vehicles. A particular concern was noise impact from the crushing plant, which will be permitted to operate for up to five days each year.
"Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, particularly noise and dust emissions from the quarry and cartage vehicle use of the private access road," said Mr Jones.
"The EPA’s conditions to address these issues include restricting the hours of quarry operations and cartage vehicle movements, and limiting the number of vehicle movements per day," he said.
"Conditions also require a screening bund to be established and maintained around the quarry, and limit noise and dust from the crushing plant and operations," 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 Southern Midlands 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/completed-assessments