Waste-to-energy details revealed

By Taylah Eastwell

The formal application for a waste-to-energy facility in Dandenong South has been released to the public.

The plant’s proponent Great Southern Waste Technologies has also announced they are hosting a drop-in information session from 6 to 8pm on 11 December 2019 at Quest Apartments, Dandenong.

According to its submission to the Environment Protection Authority Victoria, GSWT seeks to use gasification technology to process 100,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste and commercial and industrial waste each year, feeding approximately 7.9 mega watts of electricity into the grid.

Great Southern Waste stated that the air emissions that arise when combusting waste, if unmitigated, present a potentially high risk to the surrounding public.

It noted that this risk could be mitigated during the design and operation of the plant and stated this has been a key focus during the design development process.

It was also stated in their works approval application that the process of thermally treating waste has the potential to emit a range of hazardous chemicals which can have harmful impacts on surrounding air quality.

Contaminants arising from the plant likely to affect air quality include nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluride, carbon monoxide, ammonia and furans. A study was conducted of an area of 10km x 10km around the proposed site, with results concluding that any air emissions produced by the plant would result in minimal risks to human health and surrounding produce, GSWT claims.

The plant will also generate increased noise from vehicle movements with approximately 24 heavy vehicles expected to drop off waste to the plant in both the morning and afternoon of each day. The proposed location of the site backs onto the Eastlink Freeway and is adjacent to other industrial enterprises, with Dandenong Creek 160 metres to the west of the facility.

Residents living in near the Keysborough Sikh Temple and Somerfield estate are within 1.4 kilometres of the proposed plant.

A building permit for the proposal had been originally approved by Greater Dandenong Council, then rescinded on 11 November. The council will reconsider the permit after community input and the review by the EPA.

The risk assessment Great Southern Waste considered ‘low’ to ‘medium’ risks would result from the plant and claimed they are manageable through the implementation of controls.

The EPA are currently assessing the proposal against all relevant environmental guidelines and looking at potential risks to environmental and human health. They are considering noise that will be generated from the site, as well as air emmissions, odour, greenhouse gas emissions, wastewater and issues with residual ash.

The EPA are accepting submissions until 8 January 2020. These can be emailed to works.approvals@epa.vic.gov.au or mailed to:

EPA Victoria

GPO Box 4395

Melbourne VIC 3001

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