Powder plant approvals in
Arapuni’s milk powder processing plant has been given a green light by Environment Waikato.
The plant had already received consent from South Waikato District Council with Environment Waikato announcing on Friday it too had granted consent.
The two councils were responsible for deciding on consent for different aspects of the plant’s operation and construction.
In their decision Environment Waikato commissioners Rob van Voorthuysen and Dave Roke said consent conditions would help ‘‘ ensure the environmental effects of the proposed activities would not be inconsistent with the regional policy statement and regional plan’’.
They said the potential adverse effects of the proposed South Waikato Processing Facility Limited discharge of treated wastewater to land and contaminants to air were either ‘‘minor or can be adequately remedied or mitigated by the imposition of conditions’’. There will be no discharge of wastewater to surface water.
In its report the committee noted the Ngati Koroki Charitable Trust had expressed the desire that the applicant commit to financially supporting environmental projects in the area. While the committee said imposing this as a consent condition was outside its powers it seems such a trust will still go ahead after Arapuni Milk chairman Barry McGlaggan told the committee the company would provide up to $50,000 per year in grants to the community.
Ngati Koroki Charitable Trust had opposed the application on environmental grounds and because they questioned the development’s benefit to the Arapuni community.
The Raukawa Charitable Trust had sought assurance that the environmental effects of farms supplying the plant were acceptable.
The committee noted again that it could not impose consent conditions along these lines but noted Mr McGlaggan’s comment that a clause in supply agreements would allow his company to refuse milk from farmers not complying with the council’s farm management rules.
The hearing on the plant’s resource consent applications was held in Putaruru last month.
The plant is to be built on 14 hectares of land just north of Arapuni.