Jerrara Power fully expects the state planning department to issue its environmental requirements for a waste to energy plant at Bungonia in coming weeks.
The company has lodged a request for the requirements and a scoping report with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) for the project, planned for 974 Jerrara Road.
It sets out impacts and factors to consider in a future environmental impact statement.
CEO Chris Berkefeld said this report was the prelude to Secretary's Environmental Requirements (SEARS) being issued.
"We do expect that to be issued in the next two to three weeks," he said.
It comes despite Goulburn Mulwaree Council's opposition to the issuing of any more SEARS for waste to energy plants until a state policy on waste to energy plants is finalised. Mayor Bob Kirk, general manager Warwick Bennett and Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman argued the point in a recent meeting with state planning minister, Rob Stokes.
The council wants more investigation into their impacts and a limit of one waste to energy plant in any local government area where the material is sourced from outside.
Mayor Bob Kirk has said Goulburn Mulwaree didn't want to become Sydney's "dumping ground."
Mr Berkefeld said he respected the council's viewpoint but didn't understand the logic.
"If you can have one (proposed for Woodlawn), why not two? They say they'd prefer to have none but I think it depends on the size of the LGA," he said.
"...There is no current space in Sydney where you could put a plant. There are three proposals - Matraville and two at Eastern Creek, with no certainty they will be approved. It's a vexed issue but we can only build where we have space and that is limited. We proposed it where the zoning is applicable to getting approval."
Jerrara Power is proposing to build the plant on RU2 rural landscape zoned land off Jerrara Road. It would treat up to 330,000 tonnes of residual municipal, commercial and industrial waste, mainly from the Sydney region. The treated waste would be converted to electricity, generating up to 330 megawatts of power to be fed into the grid.
But the plan has met strong opposition in Bungonia and district.
The council plans to take up their fight in its response to the SEARS. General manager Warwick Bennett said the council and agencies would have two weeks to provide comments before the SEARS were issued. He was expecting notification this week.
A report outlining these would possibly go to a July 13 meeting.
Mayor Bob Kirk said he'd be disappointed but not surprised if SEARS were issued.
"We're opposing that but I don't know how successful we'll be," he said.
He's written to residents outlining the council's concerns and asking for feedback. These include water, transport, human, animal and biodiversity health impacts, the site's suitability and the effect of what could be a 30 to 40 metre easement for a 66 kilovolt transmission line.
The council also argues the waste source must be identified and that people who buy property in the area have a reasonable expectation that such facilities will be prohibited in the rural zone.
"The SEARS will go through the process, the company will address those issues and the people out there will live in anxiety until they're resolved. That's what we wanted to avoid," Cr Kirk said.
The Mayor is also seeking a meeting with the DPIE secretary to lobby the council's case. He and Mr Bennett won unanimous support for their stance against waste to energy plants and the need for a firm policy at last week's Regional Cities meeting. The organisation includes 16 areas.
In addition, the Canberra Joint Regional Organisation of Councils, of which Goulburn Mulwaree is a member, is backing the policy push.
"We also have (Goulburn MP) Wendy Tuckerman's support and she is making very strong government representations. She is firmly in our corner," Cr Kirk said.
Jerrara Action Group spokeswoman Tenielle Bartley said members appreciated the support.
She questioned some of the "assumptions" made in the scoping report about the level of community backing for the technology.
"We definitely don't want to SEARS to be issued, not for that location because it's wrong for the area and there's not enough information to support it in the RU2 zone," she said.
"...(But) there's not much more we can do; it's a waiting game until the EIS is publicly exhibited."
In the meantime, the group is organising a 'have your say' day for the community and its own survey about the development itself.
Mr Berkefeld stood by Jerrara Power's survey, saying it was completely independent and there were others, outside the recent community workshops, who supported the technology.
"I respect that people have a different point of view but we will have the opportunity to cement some myth busting and put some facts around our proposal as we build the EIS," he said.
The scoping report can be found at this link.
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