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Environment Southland's recommendation report on AB Lime's application for its Winton dump was released today.
The Winton company owns and operates a landfill, as well as a limestone quarry and last year applied for a number of consents.
These included a variation to one of the permits which would remove a 100,000 tonnes per annum cap on the tip, as well as to provide for the inclusion of waste acceptance in emergency response scenarios.
It would not increase its footprint or capacity.
The report author, Pattle Delamore Partners environmental planning service leader Michael Durand, recommended it be refused.
He gave three main issues.
The first two were that not all of the actual and potential effects on the environment had been assessed due to the approach taken in the application, nor had the types of waste to be received.
These materials included the aluminium dross waste (ADW) from the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter.
Mr Durand said receipt of the material was allowed via an amendment to its current discharge permit.
"Since the granting of that consent NZAS has signalled the Tiwai operation will cease in August 2021 or later . . . [Tiwai Point] has at least one large unlined landfill of >600,000 m3 of waste including aluminium dross and other waste. There may also be a range of stockpiles and pits containing processing or other waste at the site."
He said while the report he referenced notes a range of hazardous substances that are known to be present at the site or are likely there, AB Lime explicitly stated that hazardous substances are not to be received at the landfill.
However, it still asked for its unlimited discharge.
"Some types of waste may be present at the Tiwai site which do not meet the definition of hazardous waste in the application’s suggested conditions but could be considered to be ADW.
"Such substances that might be received have not been assessed in the application, despite it explicitly referring to 'other sites in Southland that may require remedial waste relocation'."
Kicking up a stink
The third issue raised was that any management plan approvals would not provide sufficient environmental protection.
This included odour.
"Past complaints to AB Lime and to the Council must have highlighted that odour is one of the critical effects to be effectively managed under the proposed new consent.
"Submissions on the application confirm that odour effects are of very significant concern to neighbouring submitters."
The application was limited notified to about 20 neighbouring properties, while seven submissions were received.
"Submitters are unhappy that odour effects have not been adequately managed in the past. They are also skeptical that odours will be managed effectively in the future.
"However, in the consent application a management plan has been prepared and reviewed, and agreed between technical experts to be appropriate, which will not be effective in managing the effect of odour."
Since the consent notification, the AB Lime Action Group was formed and have been vocal in opposing the application.
The hearing was set to begin May 17 and would take into consideration not only Mr Durand's report but also the application, the seven submissions received and associated evidence.