Regional Councils

Regional councils are responsible for controlling discharges of contaminants to land and water. Regional councils primarily fulfil this function by preparing regional plans which require resource consents to be obtained for certain discharges of contaminants.

Regionals councils also have the function of controlling the use of land for the purpose of the prevention or mitigation of any adverse effects of the storage, use, disposal, or transportation of hazardous substances. 4264  A regional policy statement must state the local authority responsible for specifying the objectives, policies, and methods for the control of the use of land to prevent or mitigate the adverse effects of the storage, use, disposal, or transportation of hazardous substances. 4265

Regional councils also have the role of investigating land for the purposes of identifying and monitoring contaminated land. 4266  Councils maintain a contaminated site register for this purpose. 4267  The Ministry for the Environment has prepared guidance on best practice for the classification of actual and potentially contaminated sites. 4268

Example: Taranaki Regional Plan

OBJECTIVE 1- To avoid, remedy, or mitigate adverse environmental effects arising from the storage, use, transportation and disposal of hazardous substances in the Taranaki region, including adverse environmental effects arising from existing contaminated sites

POLICY 4 - Management of contaminated sites

All known and potentially contaminated sites in the Taranaki region will be identified and managed in a manner that:

(a)     avoids or mitigates potential adverse environmental effects;
(b)     mitigates or remedies actual adverse environmental effect; and
(c)     avoids or mitigates potential adverse effects on human health

POLICY 6 - Avoiding new contaminated sites

Discharges of hazardous substances to land shall be regulated and unauthorised discharges shall be remediated to avoid the creation of new contaminated sites in the region.

Method 2

Apply regional rules to regulate the discharge of hazardous substances

Method 6

Identify, investigate, monitor and gather information on all known or potentially contaminated sites and their management.

Method 7

Maintain a register of selected land uses which contains all sites know to the Council where it is considered there has been the potential for contamination and include in the register details of all investigations and assessments carried out for each site and the categories of each site according to Ministry for the Environment guidelines. Such a register will be updated and accessible to territorial authorities to assist in their land management functions.

Method 8

Provide advice and information to landowners, resource users and the public on alternatives to the use of hazardous substances and the recovery of hazardous substances

  1. Section 30(1)(c)(v) RMA

  2. Section 62 (1) (i) (ii) RMA.

  3. s 30(1)(ca) RMA.

  4. Ministry for the Environment Contaminated Land Management Guidelines No. 4: Classification and information management protocols (Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, 2006).

  5. Contaminated Land Management Guidelines No. 4:Classification and Information Management Protocols (Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, 2006).

Last updated at 10:55AM on November 27, 2015