25 Jul 2013

Court hears dairy farm effluent case

8:54 pm on 25 July 2013

A senior Fonterra executive has told an Environment Court hearing that effluent storage procedures used by a Marlborough dairy farmer were not up to current industry standards.

The Marlborough District Council is asking the court to force Philip Woolley to comply with environmental standards on his Awarua Farm in Tuamarina.

In March, after discovering the discharge of effluent on Mr Woolley's farm, the council asked the court to serve enforcement notices him.

They asked for changes to his dairy shed, tanker turn-around, sump, storage pond, travelling irrigator, raceways, offal pit and stock road crossings so they no longer endangered the environment or human health.

Mr Woolley objected to the notices and Environment Court Judge Jeff Smith will now decide whether to enforce the orders.

Fonterra director of milk supply Stephen Murphy said the situation at Mr Woolley's farm was serious and his effluent storage was not up to current industry standards.

Despite effluent overflowing on the dairy platform, Mr Murphy said the milk from Awarua Farm was still of a high standard and he was working with Mr Woolley to make changes to his farming practices.