Farm’s ap­pli­ca­tion hits op­po­si­tion

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

An ap­pli­ca­tion to re­new and ex­tend a dairy ef­flu­ent dis­charge per­mit at a dairy farm in the Waituna catch­ment has raised the ire of the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and Fish and Game South­land.

Mar­shall Road Farm Trus­tee Ltd has ap­plied to re­new per­mits to take 90,000 litres of ground­wa­ter a day, and to dis­charge dairy shed ef­flu­ent from up to 750 cows to land at a Mar­shall Rd, Moko­tua, site.

The ap­pli­ca­tion was to go be­fore an En­vi­ron­ment South­land hear­ing panel on Mon­day.

The only pro­posed change to the ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tion is an in­crease in the ef­flu­ent dis­charge area from 50.5 hectares to 109 hectares. How­ever, be­cause it is in the sen­si­tive Waituna area, ex­tra pre­cau­tions must be con­sid­ered.

In ad­di­tion, com­pli­ance mon­i­tor­ing re­sults show ef­flu­ent dis­charge to land has ad­versely af­fected sur­face wa­ter on two mon­i­tor­ing oc­ca­sions.

Both DOC and Fish and Game New Zealand sub­mit­ted against the ap­pli­ca­tion, which was pub­licly no­ti­fied ear­lier this year, and re­quested it be de­clined.

A pre-hear­ing re­port pre­pared by En­vi­ron­ment South­land says the main is­sues are re­lated to the un­known ef­fect of the ef­flu­ent dis­charge on wa­ter qual­ity, limited sur­face wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing to date and the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of tile or sub­sur­face drainage.

Since Mar­shall Road Farm Trus­tee took own­er­ship of the prop­erty, three in­spec­tions have dis­cov­ered non­com­pli­ance with the dis­charge per­mit caused by ef­flu­ent pond­ing, the re­port says. An in­ci­dent in 2012 dis­cov­ered ef­flu­ent be­ing dis­charged to wa­ter and ef­flu­ent pond­ing, which is sig­nif­i­cant non-com­pli­ance.

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