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Dairy company praised by council

Environment Waikato has praised Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company for achieving consistently high compliance with resource consent conditions at its Tatanui site.

Resource Use staff audited the company’s consents, and found consistent compliance and open reporting of the few non-compliances. Of the nine minor non-compliances in the 1999/2000 dairy season, seven were for stormwater and had only minor potential effects on the environment.

The company had the managerial, technical and environmental expertise to consistently achieve compliance, this week’s Regulatory Committee meeting was told.

Resource Officer Jim May said the site irrigated high strength wastewater onto land, cooling water and clean stormwater to an adjacent stream and particulate to air. Site environmental practices had progressively improved each year with winter projects aimed at improving the operation for the next season.

Monthly monitoring reports and an annual report were made to Environment Waikato. Because of the company’s openness with reports and non-compliance reporting, staff did not wish to penalise them for the disclosures. The events were minor and company staff responded quickly, so no recommendations were made for prosecution or advisory reports.

The company had an effective stormwater system in place with diversion and emergency shut-off. The company actively strove to improve environmental performance. There was a high reliance on self-monitoring so it was important for Environment Waikato staff to continue with samples of the discharges at least annually and undertake inspections. Councillors congratulated the company on the good result.

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