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Great improvement in stormwater from timber sites

MEDIA RELEASE


Great improvement in stormwater from timber sites

For immediate release: Friday 24 March 2005

Rotorua timber processing plants have substantially improved their environmental performance after getting the hard word from Environment Bay of Plenty last year.

In August, the regional council set a firm timeline of six months for upgrades of stormwater disposal systems at three sites in the Rotorua area.

All three businesses have now flown through the compliance test, according to a report presented to the regulation and monitoring committee on Tuesday 21 March 2006.

Committee chairman Ian Noble welcomes the “significant improvement” in Rotorua. “We know that much of the contamination is from historic sources and that upgrade work can be extremely costly, especially in older timber treatment plants. But it has to be done because the city’s stormwater flows into Lake Rotorua. We must make sure local industries do not continue to put pressure on the lake.”

Environmental compliance officer John Holst reported in August last year that three of the region’s timber treatment sites had received a poor rating because of the high quantities of suspended solids and copper found in their stormwater. The sites were all in Rotorua. Eight sites in the region had achieved moderate compliance ratings, which meant they complied with most conditions but failed some of a minor nature. Five achieved high compliance.

This year, the picture has changed considerably, Mr Holst says. Eleven sites rated high while five rated moderate, with no sites rated poor. These results were due to upgrades by the various consent holders to stormwater processing. Staff will continue to work with consent holders to make sure they obtain and maintain full compliance, he says.

ENDS

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