The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) engaged the Water Management and Assessment Branch (WMAB) of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) to undertake river health monitoring in the Plenty River in September 2020 following a pollution spill event from landspreading activities adjacent to a commercial composting facility in the Plenty River catchment.
The EPA has received the report from NRE Tas titled 'River Health Monitoring in the Plenty River, 2021-2022', dated 2 November 2022, which indicates that activities on the land (that may be associated with the application of nutrient rich materials or fertilisers) had, on the balance of probabilities, contributed to some impacts including benthic algal growth in the Plenty River.
As part of a consultation process on the NRE Tas report, the person responsible for the operations on the land was provided a copy of the NRE Tas Report and the opportunity to respond to the findings.
The person responsible for operations on the land has taken steps to develop an Environmental Management Plan to ensure the land is managed in a way as to mitigate risks to environment.
The EPA continues to ensure improved practices are being adhered to by ensuring compliance with the Environmental Management Plan. This will ensure the protection of river health by ensuring practical and reasonable steps are being taken to ensure nutrients are not entering the river.
The EPA is considering issuing an Environment Protection Notice (EPN) to ensure that planned management is implemented in a reasonable time frame and to a satisfactory standard. As part of this process the EPA will consider the Report along with any other relevant information.
The EPA will progress
towards issuing the EPN in February 2023.
A copy of the report 'River Health Monitoring in the Plenty River, 2021-2022' can be found here.
River Health Monitoring in the Plenty River - 2021-22 (PDF 2Mb)