EPA gives go-ahead to extended disposal operation off Great Barrier Island

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

14 February 2019

A Decision-making Committee appointed by the Environmental Protection Authority has granted dredging and disposal company Coastal Resources Limited, a 35-year marine consent to dispose of dredged sediment off Great Barrier Island.

A Decision-making Committee appointed by the Environmental Protection Authority has granted dredging and disposal company Coastal Resources Limited, a 35-year marine consent to dispose of dredged sediment off Great Barrier Island.

Coastal Resources Limited already holds consent to dispose of 50,000 cubic metres of dredged sediment annually at the approved site, known as the Northern Disposal Area which sits 25 kilometres east of the Island in Exclusive Economic  Zone waters. In June 2018 it applied to the EPA to expand its operation to 250,000 cubic metres annually.

In granting the consent, the Decision-making Committee set conditions which will see Coastal Resources Limited carry out regular environmental monitoring of the site for the duration of the consent, and a requirement that the EPA, Biosecurity New Zealand, Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council and Northland Regional Council be notified within 48 hours of any biosecurity risk.

In its final decision, Committee members Mark Farnsworth, (Chair), Basil Morrison, and Gillian Wratt found that:

  • The potential adverse effects on the environment, including cumulative effects, of any disposal activity will be restricted to the Northern Disposal Area and negligible beyond the boundary.
  • Any potential adverse effects on ‘Existing Interests’, including those on commercial fishing activities, will be negligible beyond the boundary.
  • The proposed operational procedures, mitigation measures and conditions will ensure that the biological diversity of marine species, ecosystems and processes in the Hauraki Gulf, and wider coastal and offshore environment, will be protected.
  • Coastal Resources Limited is required to comply with a number of other legislative regimes that relate to health and safety and environmental protection. These will further protect the environment and minimise any potential for adverse effects from the disposal activity.

This new consent replaces the current consent and will come into effect providing no appeal is lodged.

Map shows location of the Northern Disposal Area (NDA) within the Hauraki Gulf and in relation to the Coastal Marine Area and Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Boundary.

 

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New material released for public submission of Exirel Insecticide

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

13 February 2019

Information not previously available to those who made submissions on the reassessment of Exirel Insecticide is now being made public.

FMC New Zealand Ltd, manufacturer and importer of Exirel, is proposing that the current restrictions for ground-based use are eased to also allow the spraying of brassicas from helicopters, which is currently not allowed.

We are now releasing the letters of support for further comments by those people and organisations that were parties at the public hearing in December 2018.

Why this information was not previously available

A public hearing was held on Wednesday 12 December 2018 for a Decision-making Committee to hear the proposals, submitters’ viewpoints, and our evaluation.

Prior to the hearing a submitter (Apiculture New Zealand) sought access to letters of support to the application that the applicant had asked to be treated as confidential.

The hearing was adjourned to allow this request, and the reasons provided for the letters to be confidential, to be considered.

Letters of support for the proposed changes have now been reclassified as not confidential.

Additional submission period open

New comments on this newly released information, from people and organisations that were parties at the public hearing in December 2018, are required by the 5pm on 26 February 2019. They be made by email to submissions@epa.govt.nz

The adjourned hearing will close after this additional submission period and any new comments will be considered by the Decision-making Committee.  

Minute from the Chair of the Decision-making Committee (pdf 304KB)

Read Apiculture New Zealand’s Point of Order (pdf 472 KB)

Letters of support

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We’re reducing our carbon footprint

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

12 February 2019

The EPA has committed to reducing its own carbon footprint by being confirmed as a CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme) certified organisation.

“Protecting the environment is at the heart of everything we do,” says the EPA’s Chief Executive, Dr Allan Freeth.

“It’s only right that we strive for this in every way, including the way we manage our own organisation, and that we’re open and transparent about doing that.

“And in our case, committing to reducing our carbon emissions is entirely in keeping with our responsibility for administering New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme.

“Getting CEMARS certification is the start of a journey for us, to identify, measure and reduce our own carbon emissions. We and the public can have confidence in the fact that our progress is audited and verified by an independent body, Enviro-Mark Solutions, to internationally recognised standards,” Dr Freeth says.

He says the EPA is determined to reduce the three main causes of its greenhouse gas emissions.

“By 1 July 2021, the EPA’s target is to reduce emissions per FTE from electricity use by eight percent, reducing paper usage and the volume of waste going to landfill by 15 percent, and reduce emissions due to staff business travel by eight percent. This will be a challenge, but doing something rather than nothing is the only proper course of action.

“We are very pleased to join the Ministry for the Environment and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) in being CEMARS certified,” Dr Freeth says.

The EPA was presented with its framed CEMARS certificate by Steve Dixon, Enviro-Mark Solutions’ General Manager Partnerships and Strategy, at a staff meeting on Tuesday 12 February.

Left to right: Ronja Lidenhammar and Steve Dixon present the CEMARS certificate to Dr Allan Freeth, Philip Lim, Janet Ford, and Tim Ramsden.

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Making more information public | EPA

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

05 February 2019

Our weekly updates to our Associate Minister are now publicly available on our website, as is a selection of requests made under the Official Information Act (OIA) and responses.

Further extending the range of information available under our open book policy, you can read the EPA’s weekly updates to the Associate Minister for the Environment in the Resources and Publications section, on the Corporate publications page. Use the filters in this page to select the Weekly update to the Associate Minister.

Link to Corporate publications page 

For a selection of recent OIA requests and responses, and information about how to make an information request to us, go to our page on the Official Information Act.

Link to Offical Information Act page.

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EPA welcomes Consumer guide to domestic chemical disposal

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

01 February 2019

A new guide to help protect New Zealanders from hazardous domestic chemicals has been released by Consumer New Zealand, with the support of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

Chief Executive Dr Allan Freeth says: “Kiwis have been asking us how they should dispose of old and unwanted home and garden chemicals. It’s among the most commonly-asked questions from visitors to our Safer Homes regional events.

“Almost everyone has unwanted or leftover chemicals in sheds and garages across New Zealand.  Left to accumulate they can pose a risk to children, pets and the environment if they’re not disposed of safely.

 “The new Consumer guide will help New Zealanders find out how to dispose of this stuff safely, in the approved facility in their area,” says Dr Freeth.

The guide is based on a survey of Consumer New Zealand members and city and district councils. It includes information on chemical storage, banned pesticides, and a district guide to disposal facilities around New Zealand.

Consumer New Zealand’s research and production of the guide was funded by the EPA and is freely available to all New Zealanders through Consumer New Zealand’s website

For more tips and information on using and storing chemicals safely around your home, visit our Safer Homes Facebook page or our website.

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Beetle application could boost arsenal against weed moth plant

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

31 January 2019

We are considering an application to introduce a root-feeding beetle to control the weed moth plant, a noxious weed which smothers the growth of native plants in communities in the North Island.

The applicant is the Waikato Regional Council, acting on behalf of a consortium of regional councils and the Department of Conservation, known as the National Biocontrol Collective.

In documents filed by the applicant the Waikato Regional Council has spent more than 1400 hours of biosecurity staff time over the past six years helping to control 700 sites in Waikato where the weed has established itself. They describe weed moth plant (Araujia hortorum) as a significant threat to conservation values and urban environments.

Dr Clark Ehlers, Senior Advisor New Organisms says: “Moth weed plant is well established in Auckland and Northland and is known to spread across plants as well as backyard fences, walls and power poles, where is becomes the dominant species and replaces native plants.

“The latex sap from broken stems can cause skin burns and irritations and is toxic to dogs, poultry and cattle.”

“If the moth plant beetle (Freudeita cf cupripennis) is approved by the EPA, it would pave the way for the beetle to work alongside a rust fungus approved in 2015, Puccinia araujiae, to help control moth weed across New Zealand,” says Dr Ehlers.

Members of the public have until Friday 15 March 2019 to make a submission on the application.

Make a submission

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