Terms of Reference
The level and type of treatment at the plant is within the scope of the Working Party
The consent for the treatment plant is for the physical structures (tanks, pumps etc) with conditions for the output standards, but not the inner workings to achieve this.
The Friends of Banks Peninsula representatives gave a presentation addressing the emerging nitrogen issue, diagrams of the proposed system covering normal and overloaded operating conditions, improvements suggested to the treatment, and two alternative land disposal systems; a distributed network of smaller ponds surrounded by native forest and using Misty Peaks reserve for high level fire ponds.
The presentation was well received and further follow-up investigation commissioned.
The following matters were sent back to the Technical group:
Revisiting the parameters around slope versus application rates to see whether it enables options that were previously discounted, such as steeper slopes or vegetated areas.
An assessment of how soil nitrogen saturation is to be prevented in places such as Rotorua, Leeston and Selwyn Huts which have experienced issues with this.
Revisit frequency of bypass flows
Further investigate the likely position of the Medical officer of health regarding impacts on drinking supplies
Investigate the concept of a distributed network of smaller ponds and irrigated areas of permanent native forest introduced in stages.
The Council had released a new BECA report with more information on the Robinsons Bay, Takamatua and Pompeys Pillar options. This is to be discussed at the next Working Party meeting and assessed against a set of principles. A response to community health and safety concerns was also tabled by Council.
The Chair undertook to bring to the next meeting a clearer understanding for all of what the Environment Court was expecting of the Council after it was made clear that the Council is working toward a draft consultation booklet at the start of March. There is concern about the pace with which the process is proceeding.