A tale of two standards

March 2, 2014

First we have a farmer:

A Southland farmer has been sentenced to community work for discharging dairy farm effluent to land.

Damon Shane Buckingham appeared before Judge Craig Thompson in the Environment Court in Invercargill yesterday after admitting discharging the effluent to land in circumstances where it may have entered a waterway.

He was sentenced to 40 hours of community work. . .

Then we have this:

. . . Invercargill City Council environmental health services manager John Youngson said a high level of sewerage-system failure had resulted in surface and ground water being contaminated with human faeces and pollution in the nearby Waihopai River.

Sanitary survey dye tests revealed effluent on 20 properties, direct discharge from septic tanks into waterways on 15 properties and indirect discharge into waterways from 16 properties via soakholes or filed tiles. . .

Why do we have one standard for animal effluent discharges and another for those from people?

It seems especially unfair when the farmer was charged for animal effluent which could reach a waterway and no-one was charged for human effluent which did reach a river.


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