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Quarry expansion plan gains environmental approval from the EPA

A proposal to expand a quarrying operation with the inclusion of a recycling operation at Breadalbane, near Launceston, has gained environmental approval from Tasmania’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

A similar proposal for this quarry had previously been approved by the EPA in January 2010, however the application was withdrawn before a permit was granted by the Northern Midlands Council. By comparison, the current proposal has been modified to remove a concrete batching plant.

The Chair of the EPA Board John Ramsay said the proponent, Stornoway Quarrying, had shown that the proposed quarry could be developed and managed in an environmentally acceptable manner.

"Although there are a number of rural and rural residential properties in the vicinity of the quarry, the proponents have designed the development and proposed quarrying methods to meet acceptable standards," Mr Ramsay said.

"Given the proximity of neighbouring properties, officers supporting the EPA have carefully examined the modelling of the potential impact of noise and blasting and are satisfied that this shows that these issues can be managed satisfactorily through commitments and proposed permit conditions."

"The EPA gave particular consideration to the potential for blasting to impact upon historic buildings and rail infrastructure in the vicinity of the quarry. Special conditions requiring monitoring and further risk assessment will apply if the development proceeds".

Five representations were received during the public consultation period.

Mr Ramsay said the Board’s Environmental Assessment Report had drawn on expertise from specialist officers supporting the EPA as well as consultation with other agencies and authorities. He said issues raised by the public had also been considered.

The EPA Board’s environmental assessment, including the conditions that must be included in any permit, has been forwarded to the Northern Midlands Council. The Council will review the planning considerations and complete the assessment before deciding if a permit is to be granted.

For more information go to Completed Assessments 2010-11