Orchard owners across the Bay of Plenty are being contacted by the Regional Council this week about their property being added to the Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL) register. They join more than 3000 kiwifruit orchards already registered on this database in 2015.
Ministry for the Environment (MfE) developed the HAIL database of activities as a way to help identify potentially contaminated sites. Orchards have been included on this list because of their use and storage of bulk pesticides (including organic orchards). Pesticide spray residues can affect human health when they accumulate in soils.
Regional Council has a responsibility under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to identify and monitor potentially contaminated land explains Project Implementation Officer Emma Joss.
“To fulfil these obligations, we are required to register all sites that are potentially contaminated. This doesn’t mean their land is contaminated, just that it might be. Overall this won’t affect land owners unless they plan to repurpose the land in the future. If this happens we would want to ensure the land was suitable and safe for this new purpose and the site would need to be investigated”, says Ms Joss.
Landowners will receive a letter, site report outlining the information held on their site as well as a FAQ sheet. Landowners will have a month to respond if they disagree with the information contained within the report. Once the landowner and the Regional Council have agreed the information is correct, this record will from part of the Land Information Memorandum (LIM) for the site.