Canterbury quarries to fight ECan decision

Posted on 25 June 2018

Canterbury quarries should vigorously fight any attempt by Environment Canterbury to impose mandatory continuous dust monitors on the boundaries of all quarries that have a house within 500m of their boundary says Aggregates and Quarrying Association Chair Brian Roche.  “The move is unprecedented in New Zealand and totally unnecessary given results released on Friday of dust monitoring in the Yaldhurst area which showed ‘no serious public health risk to residents’ ” Roche said.

There are hundreds of quarries in Canterbury, most very small - on farms, in forestry, and some run by District Councils. Many of these operations do not crush or screen aggregate and therefore generate little dust. “This decision will impose unnecessary cost of continuous dust monitoring in these small operations, for no benefit to them or local residents” he said.

“We are surprised and disappointed that ECan appear to have ignored their own data and have announced this without consulting the quarry sector. It may well be that the decision is not legally enforceable and we encourage quarrying companies to seek legal advice” Roche said.

MinEx Health and Safety Council Chief Executive Wayne Scott challenged ECan to provide evidence that dust measured at any building site, factory, farm gate, unsealed road or quarry had an impact on residents 500m away in any direction. “I would also ask ECan to tell us what particulate matter was in the samples on the very few occasions that PM10 limits were exceeded at Yaldhurst and what are the potential sources of that particulate.” Scott said.

The Ministry for the Environment define PM10 as containing combustion particles, organic matter, metals, sulphate, nitrates, sea salt and dust. According to MfE, the most common causes of PM10 exceedance are wood burning and sea spray.