Dairy plant consents bid draws 125 submissions

The six consent applications for a Glenavy dairy plant to build a 7.5km pipeline to discharge treated wastewater into the sea drew 125 submissions in December.

Oceania Dairy Ltd lodged six consent applications with Environment Canterbury (ECan) for the construction of the pipeline that would allow it to discharge up to 10,000cu m of treated wastewater a day into the Pacific Ocean north of the Waitaki River.

If the submissions were going to be made available online, it would not be until late this month, a spokeswoman for the regional council said.

Environmental advocates expressed concern about the growing number of ocean outfalls into habitat for yellow-eyed penguins, Hector’s dolphins and little blue penguins on the southeast coast. There are two consented outfalls to the north of the plant: the planned Fonterra Studholme outfall about 15km north of the plant, and the Pareora abattoir discharges about 35km north.

Oceania Dairy supply and environment manager Shane Lodge told the ODT last year over the past six years $650million had been spent to ‘‘significantly increase capacity’’ on site.

The company already has consent to discharge all its wastewater on to 404ha of surrounding farmland, but has access to only 278ha and further planned expansion would increase the wastewater produced on site.

Of those who submitted, 17 asked to be heard at the hearing, the ECan spokeswoman said.

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