The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) of Tasmania said on Monday that the initial evaluation phase of a proposed windfarm in Robbins Island has already begun as the agency added that it is currently studying the project’s environmental and cultural impact on the area.
According to the EPA, owners of the island were planning to put up some 220 wind turbines on the western side of the area though this proposal will remain on hold pending the outcome of the environmental watchdog’s assessment of major concerns on the proposed windfarm.
EPA director Warren Jones said that prior to providing the go signal for the energy project, the agency must first study the numerous issues that were deemed significant on the windfarm’s existence such as its effects on bird and bat mortalities.
Mr Jones added that they also need to look into the possibility that once operational, the windfarm may affect the island’s treasures of flora and fauna, plus the probable impact of the project into the area’s Aboriginal heritage.
He stressed that “windfarms are a potential source of mortality (for birds and bats) and the northwest corner of Tasmania is quite an important area for birds.”
Mr Jones said that prior to making its final recommendations on the project, the EPA would accommodate public comments on the proposal until September 24 as he urged proponents of the windfarm to consider the key environmental concerns that could influence the proposal’s eventual approval.
He asserted that supporters of the windfarm must study the identified issues, which they “need to look at carefully and describe how they’re going to manage the windfarm so it doesn’t have unacceptable effects on those values.”
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