The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed pre-mix bitumen plant at Flagstaff Gully Quarry in the Clarence City municipality.
The proposal by Downer EDI Works Pty Ltd is to replace the existing pre-mix bitumen plant located at the site with a new plant, increasing production capacity from 20,000 tonnes per year to 50,000 tonnes per year. The intention is to have the capacity to produce hot-mix asphalt at any time of day or night to service road infrastructure projects in the Hobart area.
The EPA Director, Wes Ford made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board. He concluded the proposed pre-mix bitumen plant could be developed and managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. These conditions must be included in any permit subsequently granted by the Clarence City Council.
Mr Ford said that one representation was received during the 14 day public consultation period, which commenced on 14 May. This raised concerns about air emissions, environmental nuisance and road safety caused by 24 hour site operation.
"Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, including air emissions such as odour, and the potential for noise nuisance due to transport during night time hours," said Mr Ford.
"Conditions were imposed requiring emission control on the exhaust stack and bitumen storage tanks to ensure that air emissions would not exceed relevant standards," he said.
"While it was concluded that the night-time transport of hot-mix asphalt could occur without causing an environmental nuisance, the company is required to keep records of vehicle movements," said Mr Ford.
The proposal was considered by the Director 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 Director undertook the assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of the EMPCA.
The Director’s environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to Clarence City 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 Director can be viewed on the EPA website at www.epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments