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Part of the effluent discharge penalty canceled

A Southland farmer has had part of his penalty waived after a dirty milk production incident five years ago.

Klaas Waslander was convicted of charges relating to the release of milk effluent into the soil in 2016. He was convicted by the environmental court in 2017.

One of the court orders was that the defendant was to build a second effluent pond to ensure that there was sufficient storage capacity for his dairy farm.

Waslander filed an application with the environmental tribunal in August this year, claiming that since the order issued in 2017, it had faced numerous financial constraints and pressure to complete the work.

Although the work was not done, he had downsized his farm and was looking to sell most of the property.

He had obtained authorization to subdivide the farm into five new lots, of which he intended to keep two lots. No agricultural activity would be carried out on the lots.

Waslander said the order was no longer needed and he asked the court to have it set aside.

Southland District Council, which brought the lawsuits, did not oppose the annulment.

Environmental court judge Prudence Steven said in a written decision that council initially sought the order due to concerns about the condition of the property’s effluent system.

Since the incident, the silage storage facility was no longer used to store silage, a broken pipe had been replaced and with the property destocking, effluent capacity was not an issue.

Judge Steven said that all parties agreed to the annulment and he was satisfied that the annulment was appropriate.

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