The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted Coastal Resources Limited a 35-year marine consent to dispose of 250,000 cubic metres of dredged sediment each year.
The company already has permission to dump 50,000 cubic metres of sediment at the disposal site – known as the Northern Disposal Area, 25 kilometres east of Great Barrier Island.
It applied in June last year to expand its operation.
Coastal Resources Limited dredges material from sites around Auckland and Waikato, including marinas.
The EPA received 76 submissions about the application and the vast majority of them opposed the granting of consent, with opponents including the Great Barrier Local Board and the Department of Conservation.
In its final decision, released 5 February 2019, the EPA’s decision-making committee said that any potential adverse effects on the environment of any disposal would be restricted to the disposal area and were negligible beyond the boundary. Further, any potential adverse effects on existing interests, such as commercial fishing, would also be negligible beyond the boundary.
Coastal Resources Limited will have to carry out regular environmental monitoring of the dumping site and any biosecurity risks will have to be notified to authorities within 48 hours.
More details can be found on the EPA’s website.