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EPA’s "incompetence” extends submissions on seabed mining

EPA’s “breathtaking incompetence” extends submissions on seabed mining

20 December 2013

The EPA’s extension of the public submission period for the country’s first seabed mining proposal for another month was because it did not post the main application on its website until the day after submissions closed, Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) said today.

The EPA has today given public notification for another 20 working days of public submissions on Trans Tasman Resources’ application to take ironsands from the South Taranaki Bight – because it didn't post TTR’s main application form and map onto its website. The EPA has had the application since 21 October.

The two key documents were only posted today, at least 12 hours after public submissions closed last evening at 5pm. The EPA has today extended the submissions period to 28 January.

"This incompetence by the EPA is breathtaking, and of course its only option is to give the public more time to understand the implications of this crucial issue for the future of our coastlines, and take part in the process,” said Phil McCabe, chairperson of KASM.

Already, KASM has been astounded at the sheer volume of information dumped onto the EPA website on the day before the public submissions opened, expecting people to read and respond in the run-up to Christmas.

“Yet, despite being asked to comment on this proposal in the four busiest weeks of the year, more than 4000 people have taken the time to lodge their objections through the KASM website,” he said.

“There is a groundswell of public opinion against the idea of seabed mining. Yet while the country’s packing their bags to go to their favourite coastal spot, the government is bumbling through plans to degrade those very places,” said McCabe.

KASM also called for the EPA to put back the hearing date by a similar, 20 working day period. Right now it’s still set down for 10 March, the date it set when submissions were to close on 19 December.


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