EPA considers proposal for an increase in annual crushing quantities at Peppermint Hill Quarry, Mengha

​​The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Sustainable Timber Tasmania to increase annual hard rock crushing quantities at an existing forestry quarry at Peppermint Hill, Tierneys Road, Mengha, approximately 13 kilometres south east of Smithton.

The proposal is for an increase in annual quantities of materials handling (crushing) of hard rock being undertaken at the existing level 2 forestry quarry, from the currently permitted 2,000 cubic metres per annum, to 8,000 cubic metres per annum. Total annual extraction amounts of 19,500 cubic metres per annum will remain the same. Rock is extracted using drilling and blasting techniques, and shot rock being processed using mobile crushers and mechanical screens. The sourced rock is utilised as road building materials for forestry operations in the district.

The EPA Executive Director, Environmental Assessments, Dr Martin Read, who made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board, concluded that the proposed development could be managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. These conditions are included in an Environment Protection Notice served by the EPA to Sustainable Timber Tasmania.

“Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, particularly the potential noise and dust impacts of an increased period of crushing on nearby residences. Crushing is undertaken on a 'campaign' basis as mobile crushing and screening equipment is temporarily brought on site and processed at once. It is expected that the duration of crushing will increase from approximately 3 days per year, to 10 days per year. The quarry will be restricted to operations between 0700 and 1900 on weekdays only, and must comply with noise emission limits and other conditions associated with noise and dust control, which have been imposed in the Environment Protection Notice," Dr Read said.

Public consultation was open for a 14 day period from 24 June 2023. No representations were received in relation to the proposal.   

The proposal was considered by the Board's delegate 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 EMPCA, to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives and, in particular, to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania.

The Executive Director, Environmental Assessments undertook assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of the Act.

The environmental assessment report, including the environmental conditions, has been issued to Sustainable Timber Tasmania.

The decision can be viewed at Sustainable Timber Tasmania, Peppermint Hill Quarry, Increase in crushing volume, Mengha​.

Published on: 9/08/2023