Lowe seeks discharge consent22 October 2009
Local residents are battling a Christchurch tannery's bid to renew its consent to put tannery emissions into the air.Lowe Corporation seeks a 35-year consent for the continued operation of a coal-fired boiler, which uses a 26 metre high chimney at their plant in Belfast for airborne emissions.
The company said at a hearing in Christchurch on October 18 that it had made substantial improvements since gaining its last consent. A biofilter now treated gases from processing drums and the business no longer operated as a sheepskin fellmongery.
Four substantiated odour complaints have been made by local residents over the past decade, but Canterbury environmental officers found the smell was not offensive beyond Lowe's boundary.
Lawyer acting for Lowe, Sarah Day, told commissioner Barry Loe and regional councillor Rik Tindall that ‘substantial capital’ had been invested by the company to meet environmental standards. ‘It's unfortunate that an industry that has been operating in Belfast for so many years has to battle with such opposition whenever it comes time for renewal of consent to continue with its activities’, she said.
In his submission, Belfast School principal Peter Simpson said there had not been enough time for the community to be fully consulted on the effects. The Northwood Residents Association was strongly opposed.
‘We see the continued discharge of foul air into the atmosphere as detrimental to the living conditions and amenity of our residents,’ they said.
Lowe Corporation Limited is a New Zealand based animal by-product processing and marketing company. The company produces wet-blue tanned cattle hides; wet salted, pickled and wet-blue sheep, lamb, goat and deerskins as well as rendered animal products.
Lowe Christchurch operates as a tannery situated in Belfast, a 15 minute drive North of Christchurch, the South Islands largest city. The plant receives green hides and deerskins from which wet-blue hides as well as pickle and wet-blue deerskins are produced.