Limited notification on proposed Waste Management site

Environment Canterbury is aware of community concerns about a proposed Waste Management NZ Ltd site on Marshs road. 

Consents for the plant operation covering issues such as noise, traffic and hours of operation were granted by the Christchurch City Council (CCC) in December 2018.

Environment Canterbury granted three consents for construction and discharge of stormwater in March 2019. 

The consent application currently with Environment Canterbury is only for activities resulting in discharge to air. With odour and air quality effects assessed as limited to 500 metres from the site, only a limited notification process is required. Environment Canterbury is not able to change that decision, and there is no legal authority allowing broader public consultation, except the applicant requesting it – which it has not done to date. Selwyn District Council was notified as an interested party, not as an affected party. As an interested party, Selwyn District Council is not able to submit on the matter.

Latest update: 25 June 2020

Environment Canterbury has been asked by Waste Management Limited to refer its application for resource consent CRC194083, directly to the Environment Court (commonly known as direct referral), rather than have it proceed to a public hearing organised by Council.

Waste Management Limited’s request is in line with the provisions of the Resource Management Act 1991. Environment Canterbury has until 9 July 2020 to consider whether to grant this request. The Act does not enable submitters to the application to be involved in the decision whether to refer the application to the Environment Court.

If the request is granted and the applicant decides to continue with the direct referral process, the application and submitters would be heard by the Environment Court, rather than a panel of commissioners at a hearing. The application would also be determined by the Environment Court.

More information about the direct referral process is available on the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) website. 

Previous updates
5 February 2020

The Selwyn District Council will be offering a ‘Friend of Submitter’ for the Air Discharge Resource Consent application lodged with Environment Canterbury by Waste Management Limited for the proposed facility at 305 Marshs Rd. The Friend of Submitter will be providing assistance in relation to the Air Discharge application and will be generally familiar with the separate land use consent decision by Christchurch City Council, for information purposes.

Further detail of the proposal and process is included in the below FAQs.

Learn more about the consent application process under the RMA.

29 January 2020
  • Limited notified to 25 parties within a 500m of the proposed site boundary
  • Submission date for 22 parties closes on 31 January
  • A remaining three parties were identified more recently – the submission date for these parties closes on 24 February
  • To date (28 Jan) we have received 16 submissions
24 January 2020
Environment Canterbury can provide further information about the proposed waste management facility at 305 Marshs Road, Hornby South.
The proposed facility is next door to the existing transfer station at 301 Marshs Road, and will operate as a waste processing and stabilisation facility. It is intended that the proposed facility will eventually replace a facility located in Francella Street, Bromley.
The site of the proposed facility is zoned heavy industrial under the CCC District Plan, in which the proposed facility is a permitted activity. The CCC issued non-notified resource consents in December 2018 to Calder Stewart Industries covering issues such as noise, traffic and hours of operation. The application was dealt with on a non-notified basis as the area is zoned for heavy industrial activities and the proposed development largely complied with the zoning regulations.
Environment Canterbury issued non-notified resource consents to Calder Stewart Industries for earthworks associated with construction and discharge of stormwater in March 2019.
Like the District Plan, the Canterbury Air Regional Plan establishes rules and thresholds for activities and is developed with community engagement and participation.
The current resource consent application, for discharge of contaminants to air, was lodged with Environment Canterbury in March 2019. It was shared with interested parties including the CCC, Selwyn District Council (SDC) the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) and Rūnanga for their feedback.
The proposed operating hours of the proposed site are Monday - Saturday 5am - 8pm.
It is proposed that the site treat or manage waste including:
  • Organic wastes, such as grease trap waste, vegetable fats and oils, and septic tank waste
  • Hydrocarbon waste such as residues from paint, ink, resins etc. and diesel/oil-contaminated water
  • Acid and caustic solutions containing heavy metals
  • Laboratory waste
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Waste mineral oil (cleaned, processed water removal and balance sold)
  • Small quantities of other miscellaneous wastes
  • Used vehicle tyres
  • Road sweepings and dirty water from hydro excavation
It is also proposed the site have a crush pit for oil sludges, greases, distillation residues and other high viscosity materials.
The main odour sources will be from organic waste processing plant (waste from grease traps, septic tanks, latex, wine industry, sugar and dairy) and heavy metal solution waste processing. All other waste management processes proposed for the site are unlikely to produce odours.
Other discharge that may occur from operations proposed at the site arise from:
  • Treatment of pesticide and herbicides
  • Decanting of solvents
  • Heavy metal treatment
  • Dust discharge from activities such as tyre chipping, and processing road sweepings and hydro-excavation wastes
Mitigations proposed to manage odour
  • Treatment of waste will occur indoors with doors closed
  • Air discharge will be treated by a biofilter and discharged via a ventilation system
Environment Canterbury has informed the current consent applicant that the proposed site has a higher risk of offsite odour complaints than the one it is intended to replace due to the higher amenity values, and because the industrial land has only recently been developed. The applicant has proposed to take daily odour observations and testing of waste material to manage potential odours.
Environment Canterbury's assessment of the consent for discharge to air
  • Assessment of the consent acknowledges the potential for health impacts and for offensive or objectionable odours beyond the site boundary
  • A range of guidelines were considered to establish who may be affected by the activity proposed in the consent application
  • The guideline considered most relevant was for an industrial waste treatment facility – the facility proposed – which specifies a distance of 500m from the site
  • On that basis, owners and occupiers of properties within 500m of the site are considered affected parties
  • A distance of 1000m was considered but was considered too conservative due to the mitigation measures proposed
  • 22 parties are within 500m of the site and are considered affected by the consent application. Those parties have an opportunity to make a submission under the limited notification process of the RMA and be heard at a Hearing
Environment Canterbury has also sought more information from the applicant
Currently, the consent application doesn’t provide total limits for storing or processing of pesticides, heavy metals and solvents. Environment Canterbury has sought further information on:
  • Assessment of emissions of toxic compounds from the site
  • Further information regarding the treatment of pesticides
  • Limits on the amounts of solvents to be decanted onsite and the toxicity of them
  • Limits on the amount of pesticides to be processed onsite
  • A site management plan and detailed monitoring programme
21 January 2020
Limited notification consent process extended
Environment Canterbury ran a limited notified consent process involving 22 parties from 28 November 2019 to 17 January 2020. After concerns about mail delays from some submitters, Environment Canterbury has extended submissions for the 22 parties until 31 January. As of 20 January, 14 submissions have been received.
In March 2019, when it received the application, Environment Canterbury sought the advice of the CCC, the Selwyn District Council (SDC) and the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB). The CDHB noted when it replied in May 2019 the likely concerns from the Prebbleton community, but that mitigations proposed by the applicant should address those concerns. The CDHB advice, in full, supports the limited notification decision, as does other independent advice (see below). Environment Canterbury's assessment report can be also be viewed below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s happening?
Environment Canterbury has received a resource consent application for discharge to air associated with a proposed waste management site at 305 Marshs Road, Hornby South.
The site is located in the Christchurch City District.
Environment Canterbury has not yet made a decision on whether to decline or to grant the resource consent.
What is the site intended to do?
The proposed facility, to be operated by Waste Management, is next door to the existing waste transfer station at 301 Marshs Road. It would operate as a waste processing and stabilisation facility. It is intended the proposed facility will eventually replace a facility located in Francella Street, Bromley.
The proposed operating hours of the proposed site are Monday - Saturday 5am - 8pm.
What waste is proposed to be processed at the site?
It is proposed that the site treat or manage waste including:
  • Organic wastes, such as grease trap waste, vegetable fats and oils, and septic tank waste
  • Hydrocarbon waste such as residues from paint, ink, resins etc. and diesel/oil-contaminated water
  • Acid and caustic solutions containing heavy metals
  • Laboratory waste
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Waste mineral oil (cleaned, processed water removal and balance sold)
  • Small quantities of other miscellaneous wastes
  • Used vehicle tyres
  • Road sweepings and dirty water from hydro excavation
It is also proposed the site have a crush pit for oil sludges, greases, distillation residues and other high viscosity materials.
What sort of odours is the site likely to have to manage?
The main odour sources will be from organic waste processing plant (waste from grease traps, septic tanks, latex, wine industry, sugar and dairy) and heavy metal solution waste processing. All other waste management processes proposed for the site are unlikely to produce odours.
Other discharges to air that may occur from operations proposed at the site arise from
  • Treatment of pesticide and herbicides
  • Decanting of solvents
  • Heavy metal treatment
Dust discharge from activities such as tyre chipping, and processing road sweepings and hydro-excavation wastes.
How is Waste Management proposing to manage odour from the site?
  • Treatment of waste will occur indoors with doors closed.
  • Air discharge and odour will be treated by a biofilter and discharged via a ventilation system.
  • The applicant has proposed to take daily odour observations and testing of waste material to manage potential odours.
Why is this site proposed for the facility?
The site is in an area zoned heavy industrial in the Christchurch City Council District Plan. This means certain activities are permitted. The District Plan was subject to extensive public consultation before it became operative in 2017.
Why are resource consents required?
Some activities, like discharges to air, require resource consent to manage their effects on the environment.
What consents have been issued to date?
No consent was needed for the activity of waste management by the City Council as it is permitted activity under the District Plan. The Christchurch City Council issued non-notified resource consents in December 2018 to Calder Stewart Industries (the developer) covering issues such as noise, traffic and hours of operation. The application was dealt with on a non-notified basis as the area is zoned for heavy industrial activities and the proposed development largely complied with the zoning regulations.
Environment Canterbury issued non-notified resource consents to Calder Stewart Industries for earthworks associated with construction and discharge of stormwater in March 2019.
What consents are still to be issued?
The current resource consent application, for discharge of contaminants to air, was lodged with Environment Canterbury in March 2019. The Canterbury Air Regional Plan establishes rules and thresholds for activities and was subject to extensive public consultation before it became operative in 2017.
This consent application is currently subject to a limited notification process as effects on those within a 500m radius of the site boundary are considered ‘minor or more than minor’ in accordance with the Resource Management Act.
Why only limited notification?
The Resource Management Act sets rules about what type of notification is required, and therefore who can be notified of any consent application. This is based on an assessment of the extent that an individual is adversely affected by the activity. There are three types of notification – public notification; limited notification; and non-notification.
Environment Canterbury’s assessment of the proposal acknowledges that there is the potential for health impacts and for offensive or objectionable odours beyond the site boundary. Our conclusion on the level of effects (based on expert modelling and advice) was that the extent of these effects did not meet the threshold under the Act for this application to be publicly notified.
Environment Canterbury made limited notification of the resource consent application to 25 parties within 500m of the proposed activity.
We considered a range of guidelines to establish who may be affected by the activity proposed in the consent application.
We selected the Environment Protection Authority Victoria Guidelines (which are available at EPA Vic Guidelines 1518) as being most suitable for this site, given those guidelines contain a specific setback for a “Prescribed industrial waste treatment facility” which is the kind of facility proposed to operate onsite. That setback is 500m from the boundary of the facility.
What happens next?
Those notified have until 31 January to make a submission (Three parties that were notified later have until 24 February).
Once the submission period has closed, Environment Canterbury will appoint independent decision-makers and a hearing will be scheduled.
Dates and times for the hearing are yet to be set but will be published on the Environment Canterbury website when they are available and all submitters will be advised. All the publicly available information on the application will be on the Environment Canterbury website.
Any member of the community can attend the hearing and support the submitting parties, but only parties who have been formally notified can make a submission.
After the hearing and after they have considered all of the submissions (written and oral) and all of the information presented, the independent decision-makers will decide whether to decline or to grant the consent.
Can the decision to make a limited notification be changed to allow more people to have their say?
No, it can’t. Environment Canterbury is not able to change the limited-notification decision, and there is no legal authority allowing for broader public consultation.
What is the role of the other local councils and the CDHB?
When Environment Canterbury first received the application in 2019, we advised a number of interested parties about it. Those parties included the Christchurch City Council (CCC), the Selwyn District Council (SDC), and the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB). This was a matter of courtesy and best practice, simply so those organisations were aware of the application.
It doesn’t give them any rights under the RMA to make a submission, and they can’t be considered as affected parties for this application. 
What about health impacts?
ECan advised the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) of the resource consent application (for discharge to air) when it was received.
The CDHB has raised concerns regarding the proximity of a significant residential community to the proposed operation but note the assessment of environmental effects (AEE) included a range of details which if managed as outlined, should mitigate community concerns.
What else is Environment Canterbury doing?
Environment Canterbury has sought more information from the applicant to ensure the consent process is as informed as possible. Currently, the consent application doesn’t provide total limits for storing or processing of pesticides, heavy metals and solvents.
Specifically, Environment Canterbury has sought further information on:
  • Assessment of emissions of toxic compounds from the site
  • Further information regarding the treatment of pesticides
  • Limits on the amounts of solvents to be decanted onsite and the toxicity of them
  • Limits on the amount of pesticides to be processed onsite
  • A site management plan and detailed monitoring programme
Environment Canterbury will also be appointing an independent hearing panel that will include expertise on RMA processes and air effects.
What other information is available?
Supporting documents relating to the resource consent application are available below. This includes Waste Management’s application for the consent and consents already granted to the site.
Should the consent be granted or declined, what options are there then?
Any decision to grant or decline a resource consent can be appealed by submitters or the applicant.
Any decision is also subject to judicial review. This is a process in the High Court that anyone can bring. A judicial review doesn’t consider whether the decision is “right”, but looks at the way the decision was made.
Friend of Submitter (offered by Selwyn District Council)
The Selwyn District Council will be offering a ‘Friend of Submitter’ for the Air Discharge Resource Consent application lodged with Environment Canterbury by Waste Management Limited for the proposed facility at 305 Marshs Rd.
  • The Friend of Submitter will be providing assistance in relation to the Air Discharge application, and will be generally familiar with the separate land use consent decision by Christchurch City Council, for information purposes.
  • The Friend of Submitter will assist potential submitters and members of the public with an interest in the proposal in navigating the ECan submission process, and advise on the future hearings process, which may be unfamiliar to many. 
  • Their role is also to help submitters and members of the public navigate the application documents, provide good practice tips on completing the submission form, and (where possible) facilitate like-minded submitters and members of the public to group together.
  • The Friend of the Submitter will not write the submissions nor advise on the merits or advocate any view on the proposal.
  • This is premised on the Friend of Submitter not being associated with the Waste Management proposal in any way that constitutes a real and/or perceived conflict of interest, that they will be impartial and will not advocate for any particular outcome.
  • The Friend of Submitter will not provide any opinion on the content the submitter or member of the public wishes to put in their submission either voluntarily or if asked to do so, will not fill in a submission form on behalf of a submitter or member of the public, and will not provide partisan advice on the content of a submission. This is to keep this support role as transparent as possible. 

The Friend of Submitter will be available to discuss issues with submitters and members of the public on an individual basis during the submission and hearing process, either by phone or email.

To arrange a time to meet with the Friend of Submitter about the proposal, members of the public are requested to contact Selwyn District Council Resource Consent Administrator, Liana Hills, ph. (03) 347 2782 or by email at liana.hills@selwyn.govt.nz to make an appointment for either a face to face meeting or a phone call.

Face to face meetings will be held at Selwyn District Council Headquarters at Rolleston.

Meeting times will be available from 5 February 2020 during business hours and evenings.