Council appeals tailings decision

Tari JeffersSouth Western Times
Shire of Dardanup has appealed an Environmental Protection Authority decision not to assess a proposal about lithium tailings storage in the shire.
Camera IconShire of Dardanup has appealed an Environmental Protection Authority decision not to assess a proposal about lithium tailings storage in the shire.

The Dardanup Shire Council’s environmental and cultural concerns have led to an appeal over the Environmental Protection Authority decision to not assess a proposal to store lithium tailings.

At the July 17 council meeting, councillors voted to appeal the Environmental Protection Authority’s decision to not assess Cleanaway’s proposal to store lithium tailings at its waste management facility on Banksia Road.

The reasons the council appealed the decision included economic and cultural impact, water quality, characterisation of tailings, air quality, classification/storage of tailings, cumulative impacts and the design of the storage cell.

Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett said it would likely be several weeks before the council heard back about the written appeal.

“From council’s perspective, we’re interested in whether the storage of the lithium tailings will affect the health of the people in the surrounding area,” he said.

“Concerns include damage to the environment and the water quality, which is on the same line as the water that feeds the town.”

The Environmental Protection Authority passed down its decision on July 8.

According to a statement from the council, the reason the EPA decided not to access the proposal was because the likely environmental effects were not significant because of the relatively small scale of the impacts, the small geographic footprint and 18 months of planned activity.

Cr Bennett said even if the Environmental Protection Authority did nothing with the appeal, the council would still do what it could.

“I would be nice for it to go away, but I don’t see that happening,” he said.

“The community is doing a great job and we will do what we can to help with health and environmental factors.”

The council voted unanimously to accept the agenda item as business of an urgent nature.

Four people from the public gallery asked questions about the agenda item.

Cr Bennett said the speakers’ concerns included the health of the people in the area and the effects on the environment.

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