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EPA considers proposal to develop open cut coal extraction pit, St Marys

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposed open-cut coal extraction pit at 6870 Esk Main Road, St Marys.

The Cornwall Coal Company Pty Ltd proposed to develop a new extraction pit near its current Cullenswood 2 operation for the extraction of up to 50,000 tonnes of coal per year.

Under delegation from the EPA Board, Deputy General Manager of the EPA Division, John Mollison determined the pit 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 Break O’Day Council," Mr Mollison said.

"I gave consideration to various environmental issues, particularly the management of stormwater," he said.

"Conditions have been attached to ensure the careful management and monitoring of stormwater from on-site operations," said Mr Mollison.

No public representations were received in relation to the permit application, which was submitted on 16 June 2015. Public consultation was open for a 14 day period commencing 18 July 2015.

The proposal was considered 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 Board 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 assessment was undertaken in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of EMPCA. The environmental assessment report, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to the Break O’Day Council, for review of planning issues prior to making a decision as to whether a permit is to be granted.

The decision can be viewed on the EPA website at www.epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments