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 Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And
Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the Resource Management Act.

Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing, which happens to be another of the government’s most contentious, most ideologically-driven policy packages. Presumably, Key will be trying not to double down on the rhetoric, and thereby leave room for Labour leader Andrew Little to sound like the centrist voice of reason.

Key will have his work cut out, though. More>>

 
 

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news