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Temporary Enforcement Policy for Dairy Effluent Overflow

Temporary Enforcement Policy for Dairy Effluent Pond Overflow

A temporary enforcement policy announced by Environment Southland today (15/08/2014) will help farmers deal with effluent ponds in danger of overflowing due to the wet winter conditions. It allows dairy farmers to take action outside the conditions of their consents without fear of enforcement action, providing they meet certain conditions.

Environment Southland Chief Executive Rob Phillips said that due to the extremely wet winter, which shows no sign of letting up, some Southland dairy farmers are having problems with their effluent ponds overflowing or about to overflow, which is an outcome we want to avoid for environmental, social and cultural reasons.

“We are taking a pragmatic approach to managing this situation to minimise long-term environmental effects by keeping effluent out of waterways as much as we can,” he said.

This temporary enforcement policy will cease to have effect on 30 September 2014.

The Temporary Enforcement Policy – essential information for Southland farmers:

1. Farmers who have this problem are required to advise the ES 24hr Pollution Prevention hotline on 0800 76 88 45 on each occasion that they intend to take action to reduce the level of the pond in a manner that doesn’t comply with the conditions of their resource consent.

2. Environment Southland will record the consent holder’s name, farm identifier, the problem and the proposed remedial action.

3. Provided that the proposed remedial actions are within the following guidelines, and are adhered to, Environment Southland will not take any enforcement action:

· Only as much liquid as is necessary to prevent the pond from overflowing within the next fortnight is removed on each occasion.

· The liquid is only removed from the top of the pond and the pond is not stirred. Note: most of this liquid will be rainwater.

· The liquid is applied to the driest areas of the farm, but not within 20 metres of flowing water.

· The liquid is applied at the lightest possible rate, and no more than 10 mm depth.

4. Farmers who use this exemption are to advise Environment Southland when they no longer intend to rely on this method of lowering FDE pond levels


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