By Shelley Topp
A resource management consultant for the Waimakariri District Council and Environment Canterbury has recommended declining resource consents for Taggart Earthmoving’s Rangiora Racecourse quarry proposal.
Senior resource management consultant Adele Dawson says in a report her decision is based on concerns about the proposal’s effects on groundwater and being able to enforce conditions.
“The reasons for this recommendation are primarily related to the risks to groundwater quality and drinking water supplies down-gradient of the site,” she says in the report says.
“The current groundwater monitoring requirements proposed are unclear and I am not sure if the applicant will be able to manage excavation depth relative to real-time groundwater levels and identify any adverse effects on groundwater quality which may occur,” Ms Dawson says.
“Additionally, the responses to monitoring results may not be effective and difficult to implement, particularly providing alternative drinking water supplies.
“Based on the current operational practices, I am concerned that the need to respond to groundwater contamination during the life of the quarry is a likely consequence.”
However, she also noted in her 160 page report that if these issues and others could be addressed the activity may be acceptable.
But Ms Dawson stressed even if they were addressed, concerns would remain. The number of operational constraints and monitoring requirements necessary to manage the activity. They would be very difficult to comply with and enforce.