Hawke's Bay Regional Council has received an application from Pan Pac Forest Products Limited for a change of conditions to an existing resource consent for the Whirinaki plant.
Pan Pac Forest Products Ltd requested that the application be publicly notified. Details of how to make a submission are available on www.hbrc.govt.nz – search #notified.
The proposed change reflects the current nature of the effluent being discharged from the site, and aims to add an exception to part of a consent condition, so that it does not apply until 31 December 2017.
The installation of the secondary effluent treatment system at Pan Pac’s Whirinaki site in 2011 produced a higher quality of effluent, but there was an unexpected side effect. Under certain sea conditions the effluent rises to the surface, producing a reddish discolouration of the water around the discharge point. This breaches one of the company’s existing consent conditions (21(b)).
As a result of extensive investigations and analysis of the treatment system, Pan Pac has determined that the existing treatment system cannot remove the colour, nor be practicably modified to do so. However, the effluent is otherwise benign, in terms of environmental effects, with the only significant adverse effect being the colour change to the sea in specific ocean conditions.
Pan Pac want to be exempt from the condition relating to the coloration of the water until December 2017 but which stage they will hope to have an alternative method or location for the discharge.
Pan Pac has previously applied for consents to extend the outfall pipe and diffuser by 2,000 metres so they could comply. The longer pipe would increase dilution of the effluent at a deeper water level. This application was appealed to the Environment Court, with a hearing in August 2016 and all parties are awaiting the decision.
Current resource consents can be viewed online – click on the Consents Map link at the foot of this page.
30 November 2016
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