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Council approves Cambridge whey operation

Environment Waikato has granted a resource consent for dairy by products to be discharged onto land near Cambridge.

Environment Waikato has granted a resource consent for dairy by products to be discharged onto land near Cambridge.D A Civil Limited had applied to discharge whey onto land near Fencourt Rd, Cambridge. Thirteen submissions were received from Community Health, neighbours, Goodwood School and Waipa District Council.

The company intends to use dairy factory by-products such as whey to grow maize and grass for silage. The by-products would be irrigated onto about 39 hectares of land at up to 600 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year. Most would be applied in spring and the rest in late summer or early autumn.

A pipeline is proposed from the Anchor Products Hautapu factory to minimise truck movements along Fencourt Rd.

Submitters were concerned about groundwater nitrate levels, the ability of the property to absorb high rates of dairy products, seepage affecting grass quality, noise, odour and road hazards from mud and whey.

Environment Waikato staff said 600 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare could be added, subject to conditions. Groundwater off site was unlikely to be affected.

The Committee said as a result of presentations by submitters some conditions had been tightened and other conditions added. It had considered the environmental effects on land, groundwater, individual neighbours and the wider community. The Anchor Products factory nearby was a key component of both the Region and the Cambridge community, and wastes must be disposed of appropriately and daily.

Any environmental effects must be balanced against the more positive effects such as the economic well being of the local community and the Region. It considered that the health and safety of the community would not be compromised. The application rate would cause only minor effects, provided it was managed properly.

The Committee decided not to include conditions covering noise, truck movements or road hazards as they were the responsibility of the District Council and already controlled by the district plan. Generation of dust was likely and should be controlled by a consent condition to minimise dust.

Although there were some risks attached to the proposed activity, the risk was not a reason to decline the application, providing there were adequate means to remedy or lessen the actual effects on the environment. The consent included review conditions which would enable Environment Waikato to take action if necessary.

This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.

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