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Water quality plan change hearings imminent

August 24, 2012

Water quality plan change hearings imminent

The next phase of the Otago Regional Council’s consultative process on the proposed change to the Otago Water Plan governing rural water quality will soon get under way.

Starting on Monday September 10, an ORC panel will spend until late October hearing submissions at locations throughout the Otago region, including Alexandra, Balclutha, Oamaru, Wanaka, and Dunedin.

The plan change was notified on March 31 and 334 original submissions and 76 further submissions were received. The proposed plan change seeks to maintain water quality, or improve it as necessary, in Otago’s rivers, streams, and lakes. It also includes rules to control pollution entering rural waterways from runoff, leaching, and farm drains.

ORC director of policy and resource planning Fraser McRae said the panel would prepare a report for the council with their recommendations, once the hearings were complete. The council will then make a decision on the matters raised in submissions, and publicly notify it.

Submitters have the opportunity, if they choose, to appeal the council’s decision to the Environment Court. Once any appeals are resolved, the council may approve the proposed plan change.

A detailed hearing schedule is available on the ORC website www.orc.govt.nz

ENDS

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