Strict monitoring planned

Strict monitoring planned
Published: 23 August 2007

Holcim says emission monitoring at its proposed $200m plant at Weston, near Oamaru, would be well above regulatory requirements.  
 
The company’s project manager, Stuart Ward, told a consent hearing in Oamaru that in addition to local regulatory requirements,  Holcim plants were governed by their own world-wide standards of emission monitoring and reporting (EMR).  
 
Ward said the company’s monitoring covered specific key substances as well as equipment calibration at least once a year.  
 
At the least, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and volatile organic compounds must be measured continuously, while other compounds were measured at least annually.  
 
Ward said the EMR programme went well beyond usual regulatory requirements and was a world-class emissions monitoring scheme.  
 
He said the Weston plant EMR would go beyond even the  Holcim monitoring requirements, with continuous monitoring of carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride and ammonia.  
 
Ward was giving evidence on an application by Holcim to build a plant in Weston, North Otago, where the company has extensive mineral reserves it would use to produce cement.  
 
The hearing is expected to last more than three weeks, with 19  Holcim witnesses giving evidence before independent commissioners this week.  
 
Next Monday and Tuesday, nine witnesses for the Waiareka Valley Preservation Society will give evidence.  
 
The society, chaired by Oamaru doctor Peter Rodwell, is opposed to the plant.  
 
It is concerned about health and environment risks, dust, noise and traffic, and the visual effect of the plant. Holcim, although seeking consent to build at Weston, may not build there.  
 
It is also considering building a new plant at Westport, or upgrading its existing 50-year-old plant and importing bulk cement to supplement what it makes.