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ARC seeks feedback on environmental plans


31 July 2002

The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) has notified Variations to the Proposed Regional Plan: Air, Land and Water and the Proposed Regional Plan: Coastal.

Ian Bradley, Chair of the ARC Strategic Policy Committee, said that the variations achieve three important results; firstly to align the stormwater and wastewater discharge provisions of the two plans, secondly to clearly state the treatment measures that these discharges are expected to meet, and thirdly to introduce measures of environmental quality for the urban coastal marine area.

"We know that the people of the Auckland region are concerned about pollution, sewage and the health of our beaches and harbours," said Cr. Bradley.

“We are also aware that there is a perception that meeting treatment measures implies extra or unnecessary costs.”

"The point is that setting measures of environmental quality, like the amount of contaminants in water or sediment for example, allows us to monitor the gains and losses being achieved in our coastal environment. This enables us to make informed decisions and gives the community confidence.”

“Ultimately, it is the community that decides what level of environmental quality it will accept. It is clear, for example, that healthy beaches and coasts are factors the community regards as vital contributors to the quality of life in the region, and something it wants improved.”

“In order to achieve what the community wants we have to be able to identify desired environmental outcomes and monitor whether or not we are achieving them,” said Cr. Bradley.

Cr. Bradley said the plans would ensure that from an environmental point of view, the future direction for the region would recognise integration as fundamental.

"For example, ARC’s recent focus on the air quality issue is also a focus on reducing traffic congestion - and reducing traffic on roads affects stormwater issues and the quality of water further downstream at our beaches and harbours. Obviously, a holistic approach is essential."

The ARC invites submissions to the variations, which close on Friday August 16, 2002.

Copies of the Variations are available through Enviroline on 3662070 or 0800 80 60 40 if outside the Auckland free-calling area.

ENDS


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