Monday, February 19, 2018

Will they prosecute?

Over the weekend, farmers poisoned two Manawatu streams:

Stockyards are the most likely source of a significant discharge of animal effluent into Feilding waterways, the regional council says.

Residents have been told not to swim, wade or fish the Makino Stream and Oroua River because of the waste contamination.

Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council staff last night discovered a significant amount of effluent being discharged into the Makino Stream near Rata Street.

The council's manager for strategy and regulation, Dr Nic Peet, said the discharge most likely came from the yards where sheep and beef sales were held every Friday.

He said the council was alerted by a call by a member of the public to its pollution hotline.

"There was a really obvious discharge via the stormwater system," he said. Staff traced it back to the stockyards and from there were able to have it stopped and shut off.

There's now a public health warning in place, because this pollution could make people sick. Which leads to the obvious question: will they prosecute? Because the discharge of contaminants to water without resource consent (which this doesn't appear to have had) violates the Resource Management Act. It is a criminal offence with a penalty of up to two years' jail and a $300,000 fine.

Or is Horizons just going to look the other way, just like they have on nitrogen pollution?