Environment Waikato has posted an independent review of the technical aspects of an application to build an asphalt manufacturing plant in Riverlea, Hamilton on its website
Earlier this year, Blacktop Construction Ltd applied to Environment Waikato for air discharge resource consents for the proposed plant.
The council received 529 submissions on the proposal. Of these, 521 submissions opposed the plant, five supported it, three were neutral and 280 wished to be heard.
The top three concerns amongst submitters were:
- concern for the proximity of the proposed plant to residents, schools and shops
- degradation of local air quality
- the effect of increased traffic levels on noise, dust, air quality and safety.
Other concerns included odour, noise, dust and health effects, impacts on local ecosystems, impacts on property and amenity values and water contamination.
Effects relating to noise, traffic and property values fall outside Environment Waikato’s jurisdiction.
In late September, Environment Waikato commissioned an air quality scientist at Beca Infrastructure Ltd to carry out an independent review of Blacktop Construction’s application to help assess the technical information in it. This report is now available on the council’s website.
The Beca Infrastructure report concluded:
- health effects associated with emissions from the proposed plant would appear to be no more than minor
- nuisance effects from dust are likely to be no more than minor, although a definitive conclusion on dust effects cannot be reached due to the uncertainty of certain factors
- the site location is not well suited for dispersing air discharges
- it is reasonably likely that there may be adverse effects from odour emissions.
A hearing committee appointed by Environment Waikato will decide whether or not to grant Blacktop Construction’s application. The hearing is expected to take place in February.
The independent review will form part of the information Environment Waikato will use to make a recommendation to the hearing committee.
However the council’s recommendations will not be based solely on the review. Other factors, such as information provided by submitters, regional plans and policies and the Resource Management Act will also form an important part of Environment Waikato’s conclusions and recommendations.
The applicant and submitters will be given advanced notification of the hearing date and will be provided with access to Environment Waikato’s report and recommendations.