The Environment Protection Authority has been inundated with thousands of submissions opposing HRL Dual Gas’s proposed new coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley.
Environment Victoria today renewed its call for the EPA and the State Government to reject the proposal in the face of growing community opposition.
The period for public submissions to the EPA closes today. The EPA then has until January 2, 2011 to decide whether or not to approve the company’s Works Approval Application which is the last significant government approval required before the project can proceed.
Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said today:
“Over 2350 submissions have been made by Victorians from all over the state through Environment Victoria’s networks, and undoubtedly hundreds more have come in through other channels.
“It’s extraordinary to see such strong community opposition. We anticipate that the EPA will receive close to 4000 submissions from concerned community members. Clearly many Victorians are extremely worried at the prospect of a new polluting power station operating for decades to come.”
“The Premier’s recent Climate Change White Paper made some welcome moves towards replacing one quarter of Hazelwood power station, and supported solar power and energy efficiency. Yet this project threatens to wipe out the emissions reductions from those initiatives and damage the government’s reputation on climate change just weeks out from the state election.”
Environment Victoria’s submission highlights five key reasons why the EPA should reject the HRL project. Chief among these is that the EPA is required to assess projects against a best practice standard under the Environmental Protection Act.
“There is no way the HRL Dual Gas project can be considered to be best practice electricity generation given that it is twice as polluting as an efficient gas power station and many times more polluting that renewable energy or energy efficiency projects.
“Victoria has an abundance of clean energy options that are a better alternative to new polluting coal-fired power stations. The State Government should withdraw the $50 million grant from HRL and use it to support genuinely clean energy projects” Mr Wakeham concluded.
Mark Wakeham, Campaigns Director on 0439 700 501 or (03) 9341 8127