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Dust Affects Of Project Aqua

Dust Affects Of Project Aqua

People living within 100 metres of the Project Aqua construction zone are extremely unlikely to suffer any chronic health effects from dust, Meridian Energy spokesman Alan Seay said today.

Mr Seay was commenting on Meridian’s Energy’s response to a request for further information from the Canterbury and Otago Regional Councils as part of Project Aqua’s consent process.

It is only expected that those with pre-existing respiratory conditions living within 100 metres could possibly be affected. “Everyone in this zone is to be offered re-location during the construction period near them. This includes people with and without these pre-existing health problems,” said Mr Seay.

Mr Seay said that houses around the edge of the construction zone were likely to experience dust effects. These could include deposits on windows, some may be affected by clouds of dust during dry periods, while commercial premises that are used for the preparation of food will require special mitigation to make sure hygiene standards are maintained.

Visibility will also be affected by Project Aqua. Construction activities will generate dust in the vicinity of the works, but this is unlikely to significantly reduce visibility in the Waitaki Valley as a whole.

Mr Seay said there was also likely to be an increase in the level of dust created from the riverbed. “But Project Aqua will not increase the potential number of occasions when visibility within the Waitaki Valley is reduced by dust. But it may make these visibility reductions greater,” said Mr Seay.

Project Aqua is a proposed hydro-electricity scheme with a 60-kilometre canal, six hydro power stations, two outfalls and new high-voltage transmission lines. It would run along the south side of the lower Waitaki Valley, from an intake at Kurow to an outfall 6 km from the coast. It would generate about 3000 GWh in an average year and 2000 GWh in a very dry year.

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