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Council to appeal some Ocean Outfall conditions

23 November 2005

A detailed examination of the 381-paged Ocean Outfall Resource Consents decision has resulted in the Christchurch City Council deciding to appeal a small number of conditions, says Council senior engineer responsible for the project, John Moore.

The decision was released earlier this month by Environment Canterbury granting all consents, subject to conditions, to build and maintain the proposed Ocean Outfall pipeline from the Bromley treatment ponds out 3km offshore into Pegasus Bay.

The Council was delighted with this decision, but amendments are being sought to ensure Council confidence that all the conditions can be complied with and these will be lodged with the Environment Court soon, Mr Moore says.

 “Further clarification is needed on a small number of the consent conditions to give Council confidence that it can fully comply with the consent requirements,” he says.

The issues being appealed include how consent conditions will be interpreted in future and testing for indicator organisms. “With the agreement of those parties registered to the consent appeal, the Council’s hopeful that the appeal can be resolved quickly through negotiated settlement rather than going through the expense of a full hearing in the Environment Court,” Mr Moore says.

The approvals take the City Council a step closer to removing the city’s treated wastewater discharge from the Avon-Heathcote Estuary. It will instead be piped - buried all the way from the oxidation ponds to 3km out into Pegasus Bay.  A previous Environment Court decision ruled that the discharge must be removed from the Estuary by September, 2009.

Now that tenderers have been selected from a Registration of Interest process, a team of Council staff and independent consultants have begun a more detailed design and interactive tender process with contractors to discuss options for building the Ocean Outfall, Mr Moore says.

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