14 August 2020

ORC submission on plan changes

As you may know, the government has gazetted their Action for Healthy Waterways reforms, which will be law on 3 September.

These reforms include a new National Environment Standard for Freshwater (NES FW), as well as national regulations on stock exclusion, which set out requirements and rules for carrying out activities that pose risks to freshwater and freshwater ecosystems.

Prior to this, proposed water quality plan changes to Otago's water and waste plans were notified by the Environment Protection Authority. These plan changes were open for submissions until 17 August.

Because the NES FW and new stock exclusion regulations have rules and policies to address intensive grazing and stock exclusion, ORC will be making a submission on our own proposed Water Quality Plan Changes ("Omnibus" - Plan Change 8) to request these sections be withdrawn to avoid duplication.

Our submission will also suggest that the water plan includes an advice note directing people to the NES FW and national regulations for rules related to intensive grazing and stock exclusion.

We know there is a lot of information about new national and proposed regional rules to take in, but we are here to help you understand what you'll need to do and by when.

Information about the proposed Water Quality Plan Changes is available here, including some Q&A. You can read the submission here, and we will include it in the August edition of On-Stream later this month.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us on 0800 474 082 or email customerservices@orc.govt.nz.