York locals angry over landfill

30 Jul, 2013 02:00 AM
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Talbot Brook Land Management Association president Colin Cable.
Talbot Brook Land Management Association president Colin Cable.

THE Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision not to assess the proposed landfill project in York has angered members of the community.

Waste management company SITA is planning to build a landfill, which would take up to 250,000 tonnes of rubbish per year, 18 kilometres west of York.

A number of groups opposing the plan have sprung up throughout the York area citing significant environmental concerns.

The EPA admitted the proposal raised a number of environmental issues but has decided the proposal could be adequately assessed and regulated under part V of the EP Act.

This was the EPA's determination after considering advice from the Department of Water, Department of Agriculture and Food, Main Roads WA and the former Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC).

The proposal now sits with the Department of Environment Regulation (DER), formerly the DEC.

Talbot Brook Land Management Association president Colin Cable, who was heavily opposed to the landfill, said he was disillusioned that the EPA would not make a call on the proposed landfill.

"The EPA is the governing body on environmental issues and if it can't make a recommendation on something like this, then it is just a poor state of affairs as far as the credibility of government departments go," he said.

"The EPA has been set up by the government for the sole purpose to adjudicate on environmental issues so I am perplexed as to why they cannot even comment on the landfill proposal."

The EPA had received 131 submissions from the public objecting to the landfill project.

"All of these experts in the EPA can't assess 131 submissions, and they have passed it onto the DER," Mr Cable said.

"But is the DER even competent to adjudicate on this issue?"

Local community member Kay Davies was staunchly opposed to the landfill and to the decision by the EPA.

She said a large number of York community members were also frustrated at the EPA and it was ridiculous that it had passed the buck.

"They are supposed to be the environmental protectors and it is almost like they looked at the 131 submissions and thought 'this is too much work'," she said.

Ms Davies said although the time to appeal the EPA's decision was over, anyone concerned could still write to the Environment Minister Albert Jacob to express their views.

Ms Davies and other concerned York community members were taking the issue to a federal level and meeting with Greens party member Sarah Nielsen-Harvey and Liberal member of the WA Legislative Assembly Christian Porter over the coming weeks.

FarmWeekly

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