The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed quarry and crushing plant in the Northern Midlands municipality.
The proposal is to develop a quarry and crushing plant about six kilometres from Campbell Town along Lake Leake Road. The proposed quarry would produce up to 250,000 tonnes per annum of road construction material by drilling, blasting and crushing using a mobile crusher.
The Deputy General Manager, EPA Division, John Mollison, made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board. He concluded the proposed 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 Northern Midlands Council," said Mr Mollison.
"Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, particularly the potential for noise and vibration impacts from haulage vehicles traveling through Campbell Town, along with potential impact at the proposed site on the tussock skink Pseudemoia pagenstecheri, which is listed as vulnerable under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995," he said.
"The impacts from noise and vibration from the quarry itself are considered unlikely due to the considerable distance between the quarry and the closest residence. However, haulage trucks and heavy vehicles are restricted from entering and exiting the quarry site before 7:15 am. Blasting activities will also be subject to a number of permit conditions, including restrictions on days and hours of blasting, noise and vibration limits, and requirements for blast monitoring.
"While the impact on the tussock skink is likely to be negligible, a targeted search for the species will be undertaken prior to work commencing on any area of the site, and if skinks are found they will be relocated to another part of the site. Also, potential habitat for the species will be improved on-site through the development of a specific Vegetation Management Plan," said Mr Mollison.
No representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was referred to the EPA Board in October 2015. Public consultation was open for a 28 day period, commencing on 31 October 2015.
The proposal was considered by the Delegate for the Board of the EPA 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 EPA 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 Delegate for the Board undertook the assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of the EMPCA.
The Delegate ’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to the Northern 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 Delegate can be viewed on the EPA website at www.epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments