Monday, December 17, 2018

Farmers pollute, we pay

Animal shit from farms has made three Whanganui district streams toxic and unsafe for swimming. Horizons' "solution" for this? Subsidise the people who poisoned them:

Faecal coliform bacteria from sheep and cattle are the main pollutants of three coastal Whanganui streams that now have permanent signs warning against swimming.


The main remedy for the pollution is fencing to keep stock out of the water, Horizons natural resources manager Jon Roygard said. An eight-wire fence suitable for keeping sheep out and protecting riparian planting costs $18 a metre.

He wondered whether the council might subsidise at a higher rate than usual, and said it would be best to work the fencing inland from the beaches.

But why should we subsidise it at all? Farmers are causing this problem, and farmers should bear the whole cost of mitigating it. That's what "polluter pays" means. And if they refuse or drag their feet, they should be prosecuted. Its that simple.