The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted consent to Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) to dispose of dredged sediment at an authorized dumping site.
According to EPA’s announcement, the consent is to dump dredged material from maintenance dredging (up to 50,000 cubic meters per year) and capital dredging (up to 2,000,000 cubic meters over the 35 year term of the consent) from the Ports of Auckland and Waitemata Navigation Channel at an authorized dump site 50 kilometers east of Cuvier Island.
EPA said that the potential effects may be significant within the authorized dumping site, which has historically been used as a dumping site, but effects outside that site would be, at worst, minor.
“This was a key part of our Master Plan and means we can keep operating and serving Kiwis for another three decades – until 2054 if needed,” said Ports of Auckland in their announcement.
Despite this, Ports of Auckland Limited must comply with a number of conditions, which have been designed to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects of the dumping, said EPA.
These conditions include, but are not limited to:
- the maximum amount of material to be dumped;
- sampling of dredge sediment before it is dumped, to ensure it does not breach contamination limits, and is suitable to be dumped in the EEZ;
- certification by EPA of sampling methods and results for each sample site;
- monthly reports on dumping activity, to be published online;
- visual detection of marine mammals prior to any dumping activity occurring.