An Environment Waikato hearings committee has granted a range of consents for activities associated with the construction and operation of a milk powder processing plant at Arapuni.
In a decision released today, EW commissioners Rob van Voorthuysen and Dave Roke said consent conditions would help ensure the environmental effects of the proposed activities would not be inconsistent with the regional policy statement and regional plan.
They said the potential adverse effects of the proposed South Waikato Processing Facility Limited discharge of treated wastewater to land and contaminants to air were either “minor or can be adequately remedied or mitigated by the imposition of conditions”. There will be no discharge of wastewater to surface water.
The consents cover:
- discharges to air from gas-fired boilers and heaters, milk powder dryers and a wastewater treatment plant
- discharges of treated dairy factory wastewater to land via a rapid infiltration bed, as a contingency
- discharges of treated dairy factory wastewater and sludge to land, via spray irrigation
- deposit of cleanfill to land, during construction of the factory.
In its report, the committee noted the local Ngati Koroki Charitable Trust had expressed the desire that the applicant commit to financially supporting local environmental projects. Whilst the committee said imposing this as a consent condition was outside its powers, Arapuni Milk chairman Barry McGlaggan told the committee that his company was committed to setting up a charitable trust for the area from which it would draw milk, to which the company would provide up to $50,000 per year.
Meanwhile, the Raukawa Charitable Trust had sought assurance that the environmental effects of farms supplying the plant were acceptable. The committee noted that it could not impose consent conditions along these lines but noted Mr McGlaggan’s comment that a clause in supply agreements would allow his company to refuse milk from farmers not complying with the council’s farm management rules.