Environment Protection Authority Victoria’s (EPA) assessment of Iluka Resources’ works approval application to continue disposing mineral sands waste at Pit 23 of its Douglas Mine Site has found that neither pollution or environmental hazard has occurred or is likely to occur in the future as a result of current and proposed Pit 23 disposal activities.
As a result, EPA has determined the company does not require a works approval or licence for these activities but will still require a planning permit and the radiation management licence currently in place at the site.
However, EPA’s assessment has identified a series of recommendations for consideration by the regulators of the site to help ensure that the disposal activities have rigorous monitoring and oversight.
EPA Acting Executive Director of Knowledge, Standards and Assessment Anthony Boxshall said the EPA had applied key legal tests to the application in reaching its decision.
“The Environment Protection Act 1970 does not apply to a radiation source within the meaning of the Radiation Act 2005 unless a condition of pollution or an environmental hazard has arisen or is likely to arise,” Dr Boxshall said.
“EPA’s assessment, which considered a comprehensive range of pollution pathways and potential contaminants, was that neither pollution or environmental hazard has occurred or is likely to occur in the future as a result of current and proposed Pit 23 disposal activities.
“EPA also determined that the waste being disposed of in Pit 23 at the Douglas Mine Site is radioactive materials as defined by the Radiation Act 2005.
“Put simply, this means that the Environment Protection Act 1970 does not apply to Iluka Resources’ proposed disposal activities at Pit 23 and the company does not require a works approval or licence from EPA.
“However, Iluka Resources will still require a planning permit from Horsham Rural City Council in addition to the radiation management licence it currently holds from the Department of Health and Human Services.”
Dr Boxshall said Iluka Resources’ works approval application was thoroughly assessed by EPA and considered the views expressed by the local community, referral agencies and the expert opinion provided by an independent reviewer commissioned by EPA.