ECan's application of Glyphosate into the Rakaia River
From: David Haynes
Dear Environmental Protection Authority,
In your 6 July 2022 response to my OIA of 16 March 2022 requesting a copy of the Advice Letter sent to ECan regarding their application of Glyphosate directly into the Rakaia River, your letter states,
'The (EPA) letter dated 10 March 2022 advised Environment Canterbury the EPA accepts that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that AGRPO Green Glyphosate 510 was applied onto or into water.'
I have a witness who lives near the mouth of the Rakaia who saw helicopters spraying what he believes to be herbicide directly over the Rakaia River. He has subsequently provided me with photographs of dead vegetation right on the river's edge, as a result of the spraying . Given the herbicide was applied by helicopter spraying, with limited accuracy, the photographs clearly provide very strong evidence of herbicides being sprayed right across the river, including directly into the main stem of the river. It would be difficult to come to any other conclusion.
It appears you have taken ECan's word on trust and decided no further action is required. I would suggest this is a derogation from your statutory function and I would be grateful if you could inform me how I can escalate my concern over this potentially serious breach of regulations (HPC Notice 2017 Clause 52).
I am happy to provide the photographic evidence to you.
From: Jaime Arnold
Environmental Protection Authority
Thank you for your email.
The matter has been referred to me to consider and provide a response.
I expect to get back to you by early next week at the latest.
If you could please forward the photographic evidence to me and I will
Team Leader Compliance & Monitoring Team 2
Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement (CME)
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From: David Haynes
Dear Jaime Arnold,
With reference to the OIA I issued to the EPA 22 July 2022 and your response of August 03, 2022 I have yet to receive a robust response from you.
I would be grateful if you could escalate this matter prior to my referring to the Ombudsman.