Holcim New Zealand is distributing this week around 8000 copies of its latest newsletter on its Weston Option cement plant to households in the Oamaru district.
Paul Commons, General Manager, Strategy and Development for Holcim New Zealand says Holcim is keen to address the topics that have been coming through in the public submissions on the companys resource consent applications.
We have been reviewing the resource consent submissions in preparation for the 20 August hearing and have identified a number of topics that community members have mentioned.
Where possible we are engaging with people or groups directly to provide them with the information they are seeking. The newsletter also provides a summary of information for the many of thousands of other community members interested in the cement plant proposal.
The Holcim information centre in Oamaru remains open every Wednesday between 11am and 3pm until 15 August, the Wednesday before the hearing, and we encourage people to come and talk to us if the they still have questions.
The topics covered in the latest newsletter include: the project rationale; Holcim in New Zealand and overseas; new cement plants around the world and cement websites; air effects; health; jobs; and tourism.
When the hearing begins on 20 August Holcim New Zealand will present its evidence first. This is likely to take several days and will include a description of the project followed by detailed technical evidence from the various experts that Holcim has engaged.
Following this, those who asked to speak to their submission will be invited to present their evidence. Again this could take several days.
After the hearing is complete, the panel of commissioners will consider all the evidence presented and announce their decision, probably after several months, on whether to grant or decline Holcims applications.
The commissioners may grant some or all of the applications with conditions. Both the applicant and submitters are able to appeal the panels decisions to the Environment Court.
The Weston option cement plant is one of three options being considered by Holcim New Zealand to meet future demand for cement in New Zealand. A final decision on any of the options being considered will be made by parent company Holcim Ltd and is not expected before 2008.