EPA Refuses to Assess Environmental Impacts

A PROPOSED Bayswater concrete batching plant is closer to becoming reality after the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) refused to assess environmental impacts .

The Collier Road application, first put forward by WA Limestone in 2011, was frozen in a second round of State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) mediation with City of Bayswater, awaiting the EPA’s decision.

A letter from the EPA stated the proposal raised “a number of environmental issues” however the overall environmental impact of the proposal “is not so significant as to require assessment by the EPA”.

According to a summary, the EPA considered amenity, human health and air quality and atmospheric gases.

Councillor Chris Cornish said he had submitted an appeal and called on the State Environment Minister Albert Jacob to instruct the EPA to conduct the review.

“SAT have been holding off making a decision… they’ll just rubber stamp it now, that’s that, unless we get the EPA assessment,” he said.

“That’s what we’re hinging on, that the Environment Minister says ‘no, dumping a concrete batching plant so close to houses and kids’ playground does need to be looked into.”

Cr Cornish said the authority should consider the environmental impact of daily production rate, lack of buffer zone and location next to sensitive land.

“They talk about the maximum production rate of 500 cubic metres which would occur a couple of days a year – why are they using that? Just because the applicant says that’s what it’s going to be,” he said.

“Their production capacity is going to be 150 cubic metres an hour… the plant could be producing 1500 cubic metres-plus per day.”

Cr Cornish said there was no buffer zone, despite an EPA requirement to have a 300m-500m zone, depending on the size of the plant.

He said the location next to sensitive land use block Joan Rycroft Reserve was inappropriate, as well as its location next to business Westchem, which was sensitive to dust.

Cr Cornish said a 14-day window given to appeal was “a bit scummy.”

Residents have until April 4 to appeal the decision to the Environment Minister.