Dredging Macquarie Harbour of faeces is not an option, says peak environment group

Tasmania’s peak environment group is calling for immediate release of the details of Tassal's dredging proposal for Macquarie Harbour, which is currently under consideration by the EPA.

"Today Tassal stated their intention to act in breach of the biomass cap in Macquarie Harbour for eight months," says Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania, "and rather than implement the law, the EPA has indicated they are considering proposals from Tassal to dredge tonnes of faeces from the seafloor."

Allowing any dredging in Macquarie Harbour would amount to gross negligence, according to the state’s peak environment group, because of the sheer amount of faeces, the toxic gases they contain and the fine sediment and uneven surface on the floor of the harbour. 

“There is no way dredging could occur without resuspending waste and methane gas into the water column – impacting adjacent leases and further risking the World Heritage Area.”

"The EPA and Tassal need to release details of their dredging plans immediately, so that we can refer the proposal to the Federal Government for review under the EPBC Act."

“Dredging a dead zone adjacent to a World Heritage area is not an option,” Ms Kelly says. “Rather than desperately clutching at risky, false solutions, the EPA needs to face the inevitable - that it needs to man-up and enforce the biomass cap.”

"If the EPA is unfit to implement the biomass cap in Macquarie Harbour, it is imperative that Premier Hodgman step in to protect the World heritage Area and Brand Tasmania."

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