Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Environment Canterbury advice on water quality rules

Environment Canterbury advice on water quality rules

Environment Canterbury announced today that it would ease the burden on farmers in terms of their obligation to collect data on nitrogen leaching under the proposed Land & Water Regional Plan.

The proposed plan includes rules to regulate use of land for farming activities and the associated nitrogen loss. In two of the nutrient zones identified in the plan - red (water quality outcomes not being met) and sensitive lake zones, the rules require farming activities to restrict their average nitrogen loss calculation to that which occurred during the “nitrogen baseline” (2009 – 2013) period.

Commissioner Peter Skelton says Environment Canterbury recognises that many decisions affecting the way a farm will be operated are typically made in the third quarter of a calendar year.

“These operational decisions will have an impact on both the nitrogen loss for the current year (30 June 2013 – 1 July 2014), and the overall nitrogen loss calculation for the next four years. Consequently full compliance with the nitrogen baseline may be challenging,” Professor Skelton said.

“Because these on-farm decisions were made before the plan decisions were notified, there has been limited opportunity for farmers to take into account the constraints of the nutrient management rules.”

In recognition of this, Environment Canterbury has provided the following advice with regard to the way compliance with the nitrogen baseline will be administered:

• The 1 July 2013 – 30 June 2014 year is a “transitional year” between the nitrogen baseline period and the first full year under the plan’s nutrient provisions and as a result of this Environment Canterbury anticipates that nitrogen losses may exceed the nitrogen baseline. Farmers will not be penalised if this occurs.
• From 30 June 2014 onwards, Environment Canterbury expects all farmers in red and lake zones to introduce management initiatives and practice changes that will ensure long-term compliance with their nitrogen baseline. In addition, Environment Canterbury reserves the right to take enforcement action against a farmer if the nitrogen loss calculation for the property is higher than the worst year in the nitrogen baseline period, and there is no evidence of a genuine attempt to remain within the baseline.
• All farmers are expected to be operating at or below their nitrogen baseline after 30 June 2017, and Environment Canterbury recommends that all farmers consider what impacts farm management decisions made now and in future will have on their ability to comply with the nitrogen baseline.
Professor Skelton said this advice strikes a fair balance in terms of the obligation for farmers to collect data without compromising the bottom lines which the rules are seeking to address. “Farmers are given a grace period to get their nitrogen leaching information in order, and we’ve made it clear that consequences will follow if milestone dates are not met.”

Definitions

“Nitrogen baseline” means:
(a) the discharge of nitrogen below the root zone, as modelled with OVERSEER™, or equivalent model approved by the Chief Executive of Environment Canterbury, averaged over the period of 1 July 2009 – 30 June 2013, and expressed in kg per hectare per annum, except in relation to Rules 5.46 and 5.62, where it is expressed as a total kg per annum from the identified area of land; and
(b) in the case where a building consent and effluent discharge consent have been granted for a new or upgraded dairy milking shed in the period 1 July 2009 – 30 June 2013, the calculation under (a) will be on the basis that the dairy farming activity is operational; and
(c) if OVERSEER™ is updated, the most recent version is to be used to recalculate the nitrogen baseline using the same input data for the period 1 July 2009 – 30 June 2013.
“Nitrogen loss calculation” means the discharge of nitrogen below the root zone, as modelled with OVERSEER™, or equivalent model approved by the Chief Executive of Environment Canterbury, averaged over the most recent four-year 1 Julyto 30 June period and expressed in kg per hectare per annum. If OVERSEER™ is updated, the most recent version is to be used.

See also www.ecan.govt.nz/lwrp

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news