EPA considers proposal for Woodchip Processing Plant, Bell Bay Industrial Precinct

​​The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Midway Tasmania for a woodchip mill at Bell Bay in George Town Council municipality.

The proposal is to construct and operate a new woodchip mill with capacity to produce up to 500,000 green metric tonnes of woodchips per annum in the Bell Bay Industrial Precinct.

The Executive Director, Environmental Assessments, Martin Read, who made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board, concluded the proposed development can be managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. The Board requires these conditions to be included in any permit subsequently granted by the George Town Council.

“Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, particularly the potential for noise impacts on nearby sensitive receptors from operation of mobile wood chipping equipment.  The proposal includes a number of management measures to mitigate this, including only daytime operation of wood chipping equipment, and installation of a 4.8m acoustic barrier around the mobile chipper and screen assemblies," Martin Read said.

One representation was received in relation to the permit application. The environmental issues raised in the representation were primarily with respect to the cumulative impact of noise and dust from Bell Bay Industrial Precinct in the broader Tamar area. Public consultation was open for a period greater than 28 days,​commencing on 27 November 2022, to take into account the Christmas to New Year holiday period.  The public consultation period ended on 10 January 2022.

The proposal was considered by the Executive Director, Environmental Assessments 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 EMPC Act.

The functions of the EPA are to administer and enforce the provisions of the EMPC Act, 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 the 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 Midway Tasmania Pty Ltd and George Town Council for their information.

The decision in relation to Midway Tasmania Pty Ltd's proposed woodchip processing facility has been published.

Published on: 5/04/2022