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Environmental Protection Authority Calls For Further Submissions On ORC Plan Changes

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) today published a Summary of Submissions on three Otago Regional Council (ORC) plan changes and invited submitters to make further submissions from tomorrow.

The three plan changes notified by the EPA on 6 July were the Water Permits Plan Change and the Water Quality or “Omnibus” Plan Changes.

ORC Manager Policy and Planning Anita Dawe outlined the next steps in the process.

“Interested parties can make a further submission so long as it is either supporting or opposing someone else’s submission. You’ll be able to lodge a further submission from 18 September until 2 October. Anyone who indicated on their submission that they want to speak at the Environment Court hearings will be contacted directly after the close of the further submissions period,” Ms Dawe said.

The Environment Court hearings on the plan changes are expected to take place late this year, or early 2021.

To lodge a further submission or view the EPA’s summary of submissions, visit https://www.epa.govt.nz/ORCplanchanges

The “Friend of the Submitter” engaged by ORC to assist people with their submissions is still available to help. Emma Spalding can be contacted, free of charge, at friend@orc.govt.nz.

Background

The “Water Permits Plan Change” is Plan Change 7 to the Water Plan, which provides a planning framework to replace expiring deemed permits and resource consents. The “Water Quality Plan Changes” are Plan Change 8 to the Water Plan and Plan Change 1 to the Waste Plan, which strengthen water quality provisions.

The Environmental Protection Authority notified the ORC plan changes after they were “called in” by the Minister for the Environment. They were called in to speed up the process of getting these “quick fix” changes in place to align ORC’s plans with new national requirements.

After the submissions and further submissions processes are complete, the plan changes will be referred directly to the Environment Court.

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