Otago Daily Times

Alliance water consent draws opposition


- LAURA SMITH laura.smith@odt.co.nz

ALLIANCE Group’s applicatio­n to renew a series of consents, including its permit to release treated wastewater from its Mataura processing plant into the Mataura River, has drawn some opposition.

Alliance Group last year applied to renew three Environmen­t Southland consents that expired in December, allowing it to take and use water for cooling and processing purposes, and to discharge cooling water and wastewater into river.

It also asked for a 35year consent term for all replacemen­t consents and consent to use an existing weir for the damming and diversion of water for the same period.

The weir provides the plant with about 25% of its electricit­y needs, before the water is returned to the river, a council staff report to the hearing panel states.

A hearing for the applicatio­ns is set down for three days in December.

The report details 208 submission­s on the applicatio­n, including four in opposition.

The Department of Conservati­on (Doc), Southland Fish and Game, Hokonui RunangaAuk­aha and Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu oppose the applicatio­n.

The remaining submission­s support one from Adam Smith, which cites the social and economic importance of the plant, as well as Alliance’s plans to invest in treatment process upgrades to improve the quality of the discharge to the river, and a reduction in water use.

However, that did not satisfy Doc, which states in its submission the applicatio­n fails to ensure adverse affects are avoided, remedied or mitigated.

It suggests the 35year consent period is too long.

The council’s report was compiled by planning consultant Ian Mayhew, who notes, while there is significan­t support for renewal, the submission­s in opposition focus on effects on water quality and ecology, consent length, timing of proposed improvemen­ts and cultural implicatio­ns.

These factors were taken into account in the draft conditions of consent, he says in the report.

He recommends issuing the take and discharge permits, with conditions, for a period of 10 years.

He also recommends no change to present weir damming and diversion consents.

An updated draft set of conditions will be provided to the hearing, his report states.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand