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Contact Seeks Clarification On Consent Conditions

Contact Seeks Clarification On Some Consent Conditions

Contact Energy indicated today that it generally accepted the substance of the resource consent conditions imposed on its hydro generation activities in the Clutha basin, but would lodge an appeal to seek clarification of the wording of some conditions.

Chief executive Steve Barrett said the company welcomed the operational certainty provided by the granting of 35-year consents to operate the dams.

“We have now had an opportunity to study the full decision. Even though some conditions seem rather onerous, we are, in substance, prepared to accept the consent conditions. “However, some of the conditions could be worded better so that they are capable of clear implementation or do not lead to unintended consequences.

“On this basis, we will be appealing the decision to seek a clarification of the wording of some conditions.”

For example, one condition requiring the company to sound warning sirens when there was any variation to water levels could theoretically lead to continuous operation of sirens at both dams. This could lead to unacceptable noise nuisance for local residents, particularly at Roxburgh village.

A further requirement for Contact to provide extensive flow monitoring information at some sites such as Lakes Wanaka and Wakatipu seemed unreasonable given the company’s operations had no impact on these areas.

Mr Barrett emphasised that such matters were relatively minor and the company accepted the general thrust of the decision.

“We hope these matters can be clarified promptly. Meantime, we will continue to operate the dams under our existing consents.”

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