Energy plant approval attacked


Protesters in October 2014 who unsuccessfully appealed against the location of the Hazelmere facility.
Protesters in October 2014 who unsuccessfully appealed against the location of the Hazelmere facility.

Alliance spokeswoman Jane Bremmer said the area was already overwhelmed with acid gases that undermined public health.

“This incinerator will increase public health impacts,” she said.

“Burning wood for energy emits more Co2 per unit of energy than coal, as well as a whole load of toxic air pollutants.”

The Environmental Protection Authority presided over a two-week comments period in November 2015 when the public was invited to appeal against the application for the plant.

Mr Jacob determined the appeal on the proposal for the wood waste to energy plant that will be located in Lakes Road, Hazelmere.

The minister said he would consult with the Department of Environment Regulation and the EPA further over the acceptance of wood waste that had not been treated or contaminated.

In a press release, the Alliance said the project represented an expensive experiment that could put east metro councils at significant financial risk.

Ms Bremmer said the East Metropolitan Regional Council had not represented the best interests of its constituents while allowing “dirty energy incinerators” into the east knowing the community had consistently rejected these projects since 2004.

“The minister has made the wrong decision and we urge him to reverse his decision immediately,” Ms Bremmer said.

Mr Jacob said he considered the EPA’s assessment of the plant appropriate and consistent with the EPA policy and guidelines.

He also said to ensure air emissions from the facility met the identified criteria, testing and recording would also be mandated.

“With regard to air quality monitoring, the EPA has indicated …the works and approval…will be critical to ensure that the proposed facility is appropriately managed,” he said.

He said emissions testing would be required for the life of the plant.

The regional council previously stated that the Hazelmere plant would divert significant waste from landfill and process it into re-usable products.

It is proposed that the Hazelmere wood waste-to-energy plant will form one component of a new park and will be used to process this residual waste (wood chip) by indirectly heating the residual wood waste to produce re-usable resources.