The NRC advised the Far North District Council on Thursday morning that its planned activity to dump district waste at the Russell tip does not comply with the management plan attached to the resource consent for the Russell landfill.
Acting on a letter from the Russell Protection Society the Northland Regional Council obtained a legal opinion on the existing resource consent for the Russell tip.
The consent documents define the catchment area for the Russell Landfill as Russell and the Russell peninsula up to Rawhiti.
Furthermore it is stated that by taking more rubbish and a different type (trade and industrial waste) the discharge to air, water and the nearby Russell sewerage plant (to which some of the leachate is pumped) will change and this requires either a new resource consent or a variation to the original consent.
The FNDC now has to provide an Assessment of Environmental Effects and the NRC has to decide whether the required variation will be publicly notified.
For the time being the FNDC has suspended all dumping of waste from outside of the peninsula at Russell.
'STOP The Rubbish Meeting' in Russell Town Hall, Thursday 4-12-08 7pm
More than 250 people gathered in the Russell Town Hall to discuss the issue and to direct their representatives when they meet with the FNDC the following day.
In front of TV3 cameras RPS Chairman Bob Drey recounted the background to the issue and the events leading up to the meeting. He read the letter that the RPS had sent to the Northland Regional Council advising that the FNDC did not have resource consent to undertake the dumping of waste that they proposed.
He also read out a press release from the FNDC in which they reluctantly admitted that they did not have approval and blaming the problem on 'pressure groups' within the Russell community.
Then the floor was open to the community to express their point of view. Those attending were unanimous in their condemnation of the Council and their wish to stop the dumping of large quantities of waste from the rest of the district in Russell's small tip.
Many additional issues were raised from the floor including the effects of trucks through Opua and waiting at the freey ramps, the smell of the trucks on the ferry, Russell's reputation, trucking costs on ferry, general road safety, rats and smells, potential future methane gas ignitions, cost of setting up a future transfer station and future transport costs. Comments such as "tell these ppl we are not going to have it - this is our tip", "this shows the Council's attitude" and "this is not going to happen" we frequent.
Resolutions were passed at the meeting which endorsed the RPS's letter and instructing the Russell Executive to tell Council that the community will simply not except their proposal to dump at Russell. Further the resolutions also asked the Council to properly monitor discharges from the tip to Uruti Wetland and estuary.