Discharging Contaminants to Air, Land or Water
A resource consent is required for discharging contaminants to air, land or water in Hawke’s Bay, such as contaminated soil, gas emissions, or a stream bed disturbance (eg for building a culvert, bridge etc).
Before you apply you will need to read
Please note that different rules apply to consents within the coastal environment governed by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Coastal Environment Plan.
Technical Information on Discharges to air, land or water
These technical notes will assist you in applying for a resource consent to discharge contaminants to
If you are wanting to discharge contaminants to land from an on-site wastewater system, or from a dairy farm, or if you are diverting and discharging stormwater please go to the pages that deal specifically with those activities, see menu at left.
Discharges to Air
- Regional Resource Management Plan – see Rules 17 - 30
- Regional Coastal Environment Plan – see Rules 63 - 88
Different rules apply to discharges to air within any defined airshed in Hastings or Napier. If your property is located within an airshed, your activity will be subject to ambient air quality standards that you will need to consider.
Go to the Intramaps Consents box (at foot of this page) to search your property to check if it’s located within an airshed.
If your proposed activity will result in contaminants or particulate matter (dust, smoke) being discharged to air, you will need to consider the following standards and guidelines and refer to these in your application:
- National Environmental Standards for Air Quality Regulations 2004 . The Ministry for the Environment also provides a User’s Guide (2011) to these standards which can be found here
- Ministry for the Environments New Zealand Ambient Air Quality Guidelines (2002)
If your proposed activity is likely to require offsetting as a result of the National Environmental Standards, please contact a member of HBRC’s Consents team who can help you with this process.
Any application that involves discharges of contaminants or odour to air and any relevant modelling will require a suitably qualified expert to assist with the application. This is likely to be a qualified air quality scientist with relevant experience dealing with the specific issue – contaminants or odour.
Discharges to land requiring consents include the application of agrichemicals or any potential contaminants, composting and landfills.
- Regional Resource Management Plan - see Rules 9 – 13, 16, 39 – 41 and 8 - 52
- Regional Coastal Environment Plan – see Rules 9 – 19 and 31 - 34
Applications for discharges to land must consider how the proposed discharge might affect any surrounding or underlying water. Your application will need to specify how the discharge to land will not cause contamination of any surrounding waterways or aquifers (especially over an unconfined aquifer).
If your proposed discharge to land has the potential to cause contamination of soil or water or if the discharge may result in an odour, we advise you to engage a suitably qualified expert to address how the potential effects will be mitigated. An appropriate expert will have qualifications in the relevant field and preferably have previous experience.
Discharges to water that require consent include any discharge of contaminants to water, to land that may enter water and to discharges of drainage water.
- Regional Resource Management Plan – see Rules 31 – 34, 47, 49 and 52
- Regional Coastal Environmental Plan – see Rules 9, 17, 19, 22 – 24 and 31
When dealing with any discharge that will or may enter water, your application needs to address how the discharge will affect water quality in surrounding waterways.
It is important to consider the receiving environment for the discharge. The application should state whether the discharge will be within a reasonable distance*(see Note) of any of the following:
- Obvious signs of aquatic life (e.g. fish, eels, insect life)
- Areas where food is gathered from the watercourse (e.g. watercress, eels, wildfowl)
- Significant wetlands (e.g. large swamp areas)
- Recreational activities (e.g. swimming, canoeing, fishing, boating)
- Areas of particular cultural, spiritual, aesthetic, scientific or amenity value (e.g. scenic waterfalls, rapids, waahi tapu, archaeological sites).
If the discharge is within an area where any of the above are present, the application will need to discuss how any potential adverse effects on these will be dealt with or mitigated.
*Note: What is considered a ‘reasonable distance’ depends on a number of factors including (but not limited to) the scale of the discharge, what is being discharged, and the receiving environment.
If your proposed discharge is of a considerable scale or has the potential to impact the surrounding environment, it is likely that you will need to engage an expert to assist with your application.
Please read the relevant guidance notes to assist you in filling out the application form.
For activities governed by the Regional Resource Management Plan -
Rules for activities in the coastal strip governed by the Coastal Environment Plan vary slightly -
You can contact the Consents Advisor Annette Brosnan +646 833 8090 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the consenting process.
A resource consent is a legal document. Keep it in a safe place and check it regularly to be sure you are fully aware of conditions.