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Land & Water Regional Plan decisions notified

January 17, 2014

Environment Canterbury announced today that it will notify council’s decisions on submissions to the Land & Water Regional Plan on 18 January. The plan contains new rules to improve the quality of water throughout Canterbury.

For the first time, controls on the leaching of nitrates will be set, by a plan that covers a wide range of land-use activities with an impact on the quality of water in both urban and rural areas.

Environment Canterbury Commissioner Peter Skelton says that once the plan’s rules are in full effect later this year, the council will require farmers and land users to manage their operations and improve their environmental performance so – over time - the decline in water quality is reversed.

“Declining water quality is a major issue in Canterbury that could take a long time to reverse in some areas,” Professor Skelton said. “These rules are a good start. Some farmers and other land users need to improve their environmental performance. Many are already taking responsibility, which is to be applauded.”

The Land & Water Regional Plan sets the framework to implement community aspirations for water through the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, a community led, collaborative approach to improve water outcomes throughout the region.

As well as addressing water quality and quantity issues, the Land & Water Regional Plan enables earthquake recovery and considers other important issues for Canterbury’s future such as land stability, flood protection and biodiversity.

The new rules also cover water quality in urban areas. “There are new rules which will protect the rivers and streams in our towns and cities from pollution from stormwater and wastewater discharges,” Professor Skelton said.

Council accepted the Hearing Commissioners’ recommendations on the proposed plan late last year. The decisions on the plan will be formally notified on 18 January 2014, with the plan expected to become operative later in 2014, once any appeals on questions of law are resolved.

The plan, as amended by the decisions, becomes legally effective from 18 January, replacing the notified version of the plan.

ENDS

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