Large farm operations and professional spreading companies should be setting examples of best practice, says Waikato Regional Council regional compliance manager Patrick Lynch.
Paddy Smith Limited was fined $60,000 by Judge Jeff Smith in the Tauranga District Court for the unlawful discharge of animal effluent from the washdown of stock trucks at their rural site.
William Gary Brunt was fined $49,000 by Judge Brian Dwyer in the Hamilton District Court for unlawfully discharging animal effluent into the environment at his Netherton farm.
In the first case, Waikato Regional Council responded to a complaint from a member of the public in May 2020. Council staff found that an irrigator had been operated next to a gully for about six hours resulting in substantial ponding of contaminant creating flow paths to the Tututahunga Station. The discharge comprised washdown from stock trucks.
In the second case, an effluent holding pond was found to be overflowing into a nearby paddock by Waikato Regional Council staff during a routine inspection in August 2019. The council had alerted Brunt to the risks his system posed to the environment during previous inspections.
Waikato Regional Council’s regional compliance manager Patrick Lynch says “In both cases there was adequate infrastructure to manage effluent; however, they had been poorly managed resulting in these two completely avoidable incidents.
“This is an opportunity to remind anyone that manages contaminants as part of their business to be vigilant, not only to protect the environment, but also to protect themselves from the consequences of environmental breaches,” Lynch says.