Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited (CRP) said that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has now publicly notified CRP’s marine consent application to mine phosphate nodules from the Chatham Rise in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
The public notification in major daily newspapers means the submission period on CRP’s application has now opened and will conclude on July 10, 2014. Following the close of this submission period the EPA will then have 20 working days in which it considers the submissions before issuing a hearing notice.
The decision making committee to consider CRP’s application has also been confirmed. The EPA Board has appointed a committee of experienced decision-makers, with collective expertise in ecology, to decide the application. Chair of the committee is former career diplomat Neil Walter. The other members are Dr. Nicki Crauford (EPA Board representative), Dr. Gregory Ryder, Lennie Johns and David Hill.
EPA Chief Executive Rob Forlong said in a media release the EPA was committed to carrying out a robust decision-making process. The decision-making committee would consider all submissions made by the public and people could choose to speak directly to the panel at public hearings.
“In order to make the best decision, the committee needs to be aware of as much relevant information as possible. We want to hear how a proposal might affect existing interests in the area and the environment. We’re looking for information that may affect the outcome of a decision or that would help to develop conditions that could be imposed if an application was approved,” Forlong said.
Press Release, June 16, 2014