An environmental consulting company wants to hear what Maitland residents think of an application to establish a rubble crushing plant.Sillito Environmental Consulting wants residents in the area to be aware of the public participation process that has started in relation to the application from Ross Excavations to establish a permanent, indoor rubble crushing plant at its head office in Artreco Road, Maitland. Jako Schonken of Sillito explains that the application for the crushing plant includes application for rectification of the prior, unlawful operation of a single, outdoor rubble crusher on a portion of the company’s property from December 2012 to June 2013.“The rubble crushing plant (as well as the prior, unlawfully operated crusher) triggers the need for an application for a waste licence in terms of the National Environmental Management Waste Act,” he says. “This is due to the crushing plant needing a throughput capacity of greater than one ton per day, as well as an operational area of greater than 1000m2.”Schonken adds that owing to the fact that a crusher was operated unlawfully on the site for a time, the application for a waste licence will need to be made in terms of section 24G of the Act. “Section 24G is aimed at ‘rectifying’ unlawful activities,” he explains.“The application will be considered by the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning). It has been ongoing since 2013.New design“However, due to the time taken to design an indoor facility which is aimed at minimising any dust and noise impacts associated with crushing operations, the application is being re-advertised.”The application includes a stakeholder update report, which provides a history of the application process to date, a detailed project description, a description of possible environmental impacts associated with the crushing plant, as well as a summary of the findings of the air quality specialists, the acoustic and traffic engineers, as well as the town planner, whose input, investigations and assessments have informed the design proposed for the crushing plant.A copy of this report is available at the Maitland Library and at www.environmentalconsultants.co.za. V Send your comments on the application to Jako Schonken at PO Box 30143, Tokai, 7966, fax to 021 712 5061 or email email@example.com.