Timing of planned plant upgrades raised at hearing

The Mataura River behind Alliance Group’s Mataura plant.

THE timing of upgrades to a Southland meat processing plant proved a significant point of discussion during a three-day consent hearing.

Alliance Group last year applied to renew applications to take water for processing purposes and discharge it into the Mataura River.

It also asked to use an existing weir to dam and divert water.

While days one to three included evidence from Alliance, the last focused on policy.

Hearing commissioners also heard evidence from Environment Southland (ES).

Consent conditions, if approved, were discussed and specifics fine-tuned in response to Alliance evidence.

Commissioner John Maassen said various experts raised concerns about timing.

Throughout the hearing these focused on planned plant upgrades and consent duration.

Commissioner Maassen said they would consider the timing of planned ultraviolet treatment installation seriously, which could reduce E.Coli levels from the discharge.

It was part of a multimillion-dollar upgrade to the Mataura plant; the company’s evidence states there is a significant increase in E.Coli downstream from the plant, but it was explained this did not correlate with risk from pathogens.

ES evidence states E. coli concentrations were elevated at all sites tested and exceeded limits for popular bathing sites more than 80% of the time.

Planning consultant Ian Mayhew said when it came to public health, a conservative approach should be taken.

A final reply and closing would be made after conditions were finalised. A decision must be made within 15 working days after the hearing closes, unless more information was requested.buy footwearJordan Ανδρικά • Summer SALE έως -50%