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PPCS effluent discharge consent for 10 years

December 13, 2006

MEDIA STATEMENT

Pareora PPCS ocean and land-based effluent discharges consented for ten years

PPCS (Primary Producers Co-Op Society) Pareora meat processing plant has been granted resource consents for its ocean effluent outfall and also for its new land-based effluent discharges for a period of ten years.

The discharges will be via the existing ocean outfall and to two land sites near the South Canterbury plant at coastal Pareora.

“New standards have been set by this consent and conditions,” said Environment Canterbury South Canterbury councillor Mark Oldfield. “A new mixing zone has been specified to protect beaches in the area and a rigorous monitoring and review regime will be followed.”

Hearings commissioner Barry Loe said that PPCS had embarked on a programme of upgrades to its meatworks effluent management. It was replacing its ocean outfall with a land-based discharge system and acknowledged the ocean outfall for largely untreated effluent was not sustainable long-term. “The intention of the company is to move to a full land-based system, but there are many matters to be resolved before this may be achieved,” the hearing decision states.

The company has two months from when it gets its consents to submit a management plan to ECan which will include provisions for annual reviews and revisions and results of routine monitoring. Within a year of gaining consent, the company must install a dissolved air flotation tank to remove fat from effluent, install screens to reduce the size of particles in the effluent discharge liquid, and treat the effluent.

The quality of the effluent discharged to sea would improve and the quantity would be reduced from a maximum of 10,000 cubic metres per day to 4,500 cubic metres per day, according to the PPCS evidence to the hearing.

PPCS will also discharge effluent to a Terrace area north of its Pareora site of about 100 hectares and a 50ha area of river flats south of the site. Both areas are east of State Highway 1.

Consent conditions cover both land and sea effluent discharges, with an interim ocean “mixing zone” for water quality. Barry Loe noted that it was not reasonable to allow this discharge to continue to breach the coastal water quality standards on the Normanby recreational use beach area, “however it is recognised that it may take a little time to implement improvements. Therefore this interim mixing zone will be the extent of the Pareora Beach Class AE water quality area, an arc radius 1.5 kilometres from the discharge point.”

Twenty separate consent conditions covered the discharge to air (odour) and land consents, including the establishment of a wetland, plantings around the site, a sampling regime and monitoring of the only groundwater well likely to be affected by the land-based discharge to the river flats area. This well supplied potable (ie safely drinkable) water to the Pareora meat processing plant, so it was in the company’s interests to ensure this water remained uncontaminated, Mr Loe noted. There was no groundwater resource beneath the Terrace discharge area north of the site.

Cr Oldfield said the decision provided an undertaking for improvements wanted by the community. “There has been a meat processing plant on this site for 100 years so it is good to see it is serious about addressing effluent management demands by today’s consumer and the local community who value the coastal environment.”

All parties have 15 working days from when they receive the decision to appeal it. The consent decision is on Environment Canterbury’s website:
http://www.ecan.govt.nz/Resource+Consents/Hearing+Decisions/Hearing-decisions.htm


ENDS

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