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Enforcement order considered as odour deadline passes

MEDIA RELEASE

Friday, 8 February 2013

Enforcement order considered as odour deadline passes

Horizons Regional Council is preparing to seek an enforcement order from the Environment Court over the odour issues troubling the Wanganui District Council’s waste water treatement plant.

The regional council issued the district council with an abatement notice requiring it to cease causing an objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the plant by 5pm Thursday 7th February.

Horizons group manager strategy and regulation Nic Peet said that compliance officers would be assessing the district council’s ability to comply with this notice over the next few days but his council was also preparing for further enforcement action, in the event that the investigations warrant this.
“While we accept that a lot of work had been carried out by the district council to do this, it is now our responsibility to determine whether or not it is able to comply with this abatement notice,” said Dr Peet.
“Monitoring suggests that whilst we have recorded improvements in the duration and intensity of odour, the effects of an objectionable odour continue beyond the boundary of the wastewater treatment plant. The on-going work by WDC, for example the physical process of installing the new aerators, may also cause objectionable odour. However this mitigation work clearly needs to continue.


“Although this work will be continuing, we are preparing to seek an enforcement order from the Environment Court which will be the next course of action should our investigations warrant it.”

The enforcement order will likely result in a jointly-agreed action plan, monitored by the court, that the district council must continue to follow to address the issues at the plant that are causing odour. While this won’t result in the odour immediately ceasing, Dr Peet said it will give the Wanganui public further assurance that the district council is continuing to do everything within its power to resolve the problem.

Horizons compliance staff will continue to monitor odour closely and are also working with a number of residents who are keeping odour diaries. Residents should report objectionable odour from the plant to 0508 800 800 where their details will be taken.
ENDS

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