Court ac­tion over al­leged con­tam­i­na­tion

Otago Daily Times - - REGIONS - MARK PRICE mark.price@odt.co.nz

THE Otago Re­gional Coun­cil is tak­ing court ac­tion over al­leged stormwa­ter con­tam­i­na­tion of the Clutha River in Wanaka.

En­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vices man­ager Martin King told the Otago Daily Times in an email yesterday that the coun­cil was pros­e­cut­ing North­lake In­vest­ments Ltd and Civil Con­struc­tion Ltd in re­la­tion to the dis­charge of silts and sed­i­ments on to land ‘‘in cir­cum­stances which re­sulted in those con­tam­i­nants en­ter­ing . . . the Clutha River’’.

The pros­e­cu­tion re­lates to dis­charges that took place on Au­gust 17 and 18 last year.

Both de­fen­dants had elected to plead not guilty, Mr King said. A date for the trial had not been set.

North­lake de­vel­oper Chris Mee­han did not re­spond to an ODT re­quest for com­ment yesterday.

Sev­eral res­i­dents near the North­lake sub­di­vi­sion have raised con­cerns about al­leged stormwa­ter run­off into the Clutha River.

They have claimed the stormwa­ter orig­i­nates from the North­lake de­vel­op­ment, flows through the neigh­bour­ing Hikuwai de­vel­op­ment and the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion’s Hikuwai Re­serve, be­fore drop­ping down into the river.

Dur­ing steady rain on Thurs­day an­other plume of brown sed­i­ment spread­ing into the Clutha River was cap­tured on video by nearby res­i­dent Anna Sim­monds.

She told the ODT it was the third time she had wit­nessed sed­i­ment be­ing washed into the river, al­though it was not as bad this time as dur­ing the last event, in Oc­to­ber.

She was con­cerned reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties ap­peared not to be act­ing and had com­plained to the ORC and the Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil (QLDC).

Mr King said the lat­est in­ci­dent was in­ves­ti­gated and in­for­ma­tion was be­ing col­lated.

The QLDC was re­spon­si­ble for sub­di­vi­sion con­trol, but the ORC had been work­ing with it to en­sure ‘‘ap­pro­pri­ate miti­ gation mea­sures’’ were place, Mr King said.

QLDC prin­ci­pal mon­i­tor­ing and en­force­ment of­fi­cer An­thony Hall told the Cen­tral Otago News last month North­lake de­vel­op­ers were ‘‘con­tin­u­ally mak­ing changes and im­prove­ments to their site man­age­ment plans’’ and that there had been an im­prove­ment in dis­charges in Wanaka gen­er­ally as a re­sult of the coun­cil work­ing closely with de­vel­op­ers.

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Wanaka res­i­dent Anna Sim­monds ob­serves sed­i­ment left be­hind by stormwa­ter runoff in Rock­a­billy Gully in Wanaka’s Hikuwai Re­serve, on Thurs­day.

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