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Environment Court Acknowledges Sewage Progress

Waimakariri District Council

Environment Court Acknowledges Progress On Rangiora Sewage

A resolution to Rangiora¹s sewage problems is a step closer following an Environment Court hearing in Christchurch yesterday.

The Court acknowledged that good progress was made during two days of mediation on March 21-22, with an interim Heads of Agreement reached between Waimakariri District Council, Environment Canterbury and the Cam River Consent Group Incorporated.

The terms of the Heads of Agreement remain confidential to all of the parties while the mediation process continues.

The Rangiora Sewage Treatment Plant, which discharges treated effluent to the South Brook-Cam River system, has for some time been operating in breach of its resource consent.

These breaches relate to effluent quality and flow volumes.

In January 1998 the Council applied to Environment Canterbury for a new resource consent. This was granted following a hearing last October, however, the consent conditions were appealed by both the Council and the Cam River Consent Group Incorporated.

The Environment Court yesterday recognised the efforts the Council is making to address problems with effluent quality at the Rangiora STP, and the difficulties faced in reaching a fair and reasonable outcome for ratepayers.

However the Court has also recognised the urgency of the situation and has set aside two further days of mediation in May. This gives the Council time to complete further investigations and present the information to the other parties.

Judge Smith reiterated that should a resolution between the parties not be reached at the next mediation round, a full Environment Court hearing will be held in late June.


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