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

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Debut, Mockingjay, And Drunk Texting

John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score.

The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel. More>>

ALSO:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news