Hazardous substances

Hazardous substances include substances defined in the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO Act). Familiar examples include methylated spirits, petrol, diesel, and compressed gases. Hazardous substances have certain hazardous properties eg. explosiveness, flammability or corrosiveness. Hazardous substances can occur anywhere in the district. The sites where activities with hazardous substances are used are called hazardous facilities. The storage and use of hazardous substances must be managed appropriately so that they do not trigger a high risk to people, property or the environment.

 

KEY ISSUES

►  Current hazardous substances plan provisions are outdated and do not implement national direction or give effect to Regional Policy Statement direction.

Recent amendments to the RMA removed the explicit function for Council to control hazardous substances under the Act. In general, hazardous facilities which comply with the HSNO requirements should not have significant adverse effects on the environment.  District Plan provisions can add a higher degree of environmental protection to other relevant HSNO legislation but must be considered complementary and not duplicate the controls under HSNO or other statutes.

DRAFT RESPONSES TO KEY ISSUES

►  Review the way Council manages hazardous substances to avoid duplicating the requirements of other legislation.
►  Develop objectives and policies to address adverse environmental effects of hazardous facilities, the protection of sensitive landuses and environments, the management of cumulative risks of hazardous facilities, the management of reverse sensitivity effects and the management of natural hazard influences eg. land instability, flooding.
►  Provide a permissive approach to the storage and use of hazardous substances which do not trigger a high risk to people, property or the environment.
►  Provide more restrictions on the storage or use of hazardous substances with explosive or flammable properties within close proximity to National Grid transmission lines and major electricity distribution lines. 
►  Develop a risk based approach to the assessment of new hazardous facilities and the expansion of existing hazardous facilities.

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