Discharge plans 'threat to growers' future'
CHE BAKER IN ALEXANDRA
Concerns have been raised by an Ettrick fruitgrowers' group about the detrimental economic impacts if proposed nitrate leaching standards are passed by the Otago Regional Council.
At a hearings panel meeting held in Alexandra yesterday, orchardist Mark Darling, speaking on behalf of the Ettrick Fruitgrowers Association, said the proposed plan change 6A by the council threatened the sustainability of fruitgrowers.
The proposed change seeks to maintain and improve water quality by controlling contaminants, from drains, runoffs and leaching, discharging from land to water.
In the plan additional rules were added that meant nitrogen leaching levels would not be able to exceed 20kg of nitrogen a hectare a year over any nitrogen sensitive zone.
The Ettrick Basin Aquifer and Roxburgh Basin Aquifer were considered sensitive zones in the strategy.
Panel member David Shepherd said the change, which would come into effect in 2019, was not about wanting to restrict nitrogen use but to ask users to be mindful of the impact of it going into groundwater.
- © Fairfax NZ News