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Better compliance with dairy effluent rules

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 10:00 a.m.

Bay of Plenty farmers are doing better in complying with dairy effluent rules, a report to Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Regional Direction and Delivery says.

A 2014 survey of compliance on dairy farms showed improved compliance levels, and no incidents were considered serious enough to warrant taking a prosecution.

The Council issued seven abatement notices or formal instructions to take action, and 11 infringement notices or fines for serious offences. These are normally $750 for most dairy-related offences.

The pleasing result meant only one dairy prosecution had been taken in the last three seasons of monitoring, Pollution Prevention Team Leader Steve Pickles said.

The Council monitored 290 dairy discharge consents during late 2014, with three quarters complying and another 17 percent with low-risk non-compliance. Fewer than 10 percent of consents monitored breached conditions related to environmental effects or best practice.

“The top three issues were poorly managed ponds, poorly managed effluent irrigation and poorly managed stormwater diversion systems,” he said.

Staff inspected all aspects of the effluent treatment and disposal systems, and also checked runoff where the property had feedpads or standoff pads.

“It’s great to see overall compliance has improved from the previous season,” he said.

Regional Council staff will be at next month’s Effluent Expo at Mystery Creek on March 17.

“The Expo is a great place to see the latest innovations in effluent management, as well as speak to a wide range of effluent specialists and industry experts. It would be great to see some Bay of Plenty farmers attend the St Patrick’s day event,” he said.

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