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EPA’s works approval decision
EPA has granted a works approval (PDF 8.5MB – large file) for GBP Australia to construct a high-temperature rendering plant to process offal generated at its existing premises in Poowong.
All environmental issues and community submissions were examined in our assessment and approval of GBP’s application (see EPA’s response to community concerns).
In order to obtain a works approval, GBP needed to demonstrate:
- the proposal was permitted by the land-use planning scheme
- would not adversely affect the interests of any person
- would not adversely affect the quality of any segment of the environment
- complied with relevant regulations and guidelines.
EPA’s assessment found that GBP met all of the above requirements and, subsequently, a works approval with conditions was issued for the installation of a high-temperature rendering plant and upgraded wastewater treatment system.
The proposed works will improve the site’s environmental performance, particularly in managing treated effluent due to the implementation of the actions required in the environmental improvement plan. The reuse scheme will be more sustainable and overall odour emissions will decrease.
EPA required that GBP establish a community liaison committee (CLC) to consider its site operations. EPA has attended the CLC meetings and provided our recommendations for running future CLC meetings. We have asked GBP to share its responses to the s22 notice with the CLC – particularly, the outcome of the wastewater treatment master plan and the proposed environmental improvement plan – and seek feedback from the CLC on behalf of the community. CLC meetings will be ongoing monthly. EPA will continue to attend these meetings.
If you wish to speak to someone about the works approval application, please call the Development Assessment Unit on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).
If you object to any of the works approval conditions, you may have the decision reviewed by applying in writing to the Registrar, Planning and Environment Division, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), within 21 days of the date of issue.
Previous public consultation and submissions
The works approval application was advertised for public comment in the Herald Sun and South Gippsland Sentinel Times on 24 August 2015. The closing date for public submissions to EPA was 21 September.
A drop-in information session was held on Wednesday, 9 September at the Poowong Football Club Hall. EPA and GBP attended the session to talk about the project and the works approval process.
Approximately 40 local residents attended the information session, where we heard a number of concerns about the environmental performance of the current operation. These include concerns about odour and noise emissions and the adequacy of the wastewater treatment system and reuse scheme. Read the summary of issues and GBP’s response to the issues.
EPA received a total of 12 submissions by 21 September, which consisted of 11 objections and one in favour (see the submissions). The submissions largely concern issues related to the current operation, as mentioned above.
Concerns relevant to the proposal are potential odour emissions in the event of a rendering plant system failure, land availability for irrigation and increased traffic flow.
After considering feedback from the community and during our assessment, EPA issued a notice to GBP under section 22 of the Environment Protection Act on 20 November 2015. This request for extra information mainly relates to the wastewater management master plan and an environmental improvement plan (EIP) for reusing treated effluent on land.
GBP provided EPA its response to the s22 notice on 26 April 2016. The additional information forms part of the works approval application. EPA notified the submitters of the additional information received and invited the public to comment on the additional information over two weeks from 28 April.
EPA received three submissions by 15 May. Issues raised were mainly related to the existing operation, including noise, odour, and effluent management and disposal. One issue that was relevant to this works approval application was the buffer distance available for the proposed rendering plant.