Many of the concerns about the proposed expansion of the Bonny Glen landfill near Marton will not be considered as part of its resource consent hearing which begins in Feilding next week.
They include increased truck trips and leaching from the site.
Midwest Disposals Ltd, which operates the landfill near Marton, wants to expand the site and has applied for six resource consents with Horizons Regional Council and the Rangitikei District Council. Concerns were aired by submitters in closed pre-hearings last year, but several of those have been deemed outside the scope of the consent applications.
Pre-hearings were held in Marton on August 26 and September 23, where the 62 submitters and Midwest representatives were able to attend. Submitters questioned the effect on property values in the area, the effect of leachate from the dump on the Marton wastewater system and the effect of increased truck traffic on roading, a report on those hearings by facilitator Bruce Cottrill said.
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In response, Horizons and RDC representatives Mark St Clair and Hamish Anderson said those concerns should not be considered by the independent commissioners."
Their response said "the RMA focuses on the direct effects of the proposal which, depending on their severity, may in turn affect property prices, therefore devaluation of property is a secondary effect".
Mr St Clair and Mr Anderson also said leachate from the dump, which goes into the Marton Wastewater Treatment Plant (MWTP), should not be considered part of the consent hearing because RDC was responsible for it. RDC accepted the leachate from Bonny Glen into its wastewater system under a "handshake agreement". It is then discharged as part of the wastewater into the Tutaenui Stream under a consent held by RDC with Horizons. The Chronicle reported last year that RDC had repeatedly breached that consent to discharge, largely because of its taking leachate from Bonny Glen.
On road quality and traffic noise, the two councils said Midwest had no control over what route its suppliers took to the site and the RDC and the New Zealand Transport Agency had responsibility for the roads.
Following those initial hearings Midwest had come up with sweeteners, including pledges to set up a formal agreement with RDC to put leachate into the MWTP, compensating farmers for any stock deaths caused by ingestion of litter, and putting money back into the community via a trust.
Midwest Disposals has sought five consents from Horizons Regional Council and one from the Rangitikei District Council related to to extending the life and size of the dump. It has spent more than $1million and five years on the proposal. Submissions closed in June last year. The hearing begins at Manfeild in Feilding on February 17 and is set down for nine days.