ORC launches comprehensive Earthworks Guide for developers

May 12, 2023

A comprehensive Earthworks Guide has been launched by the Otago Regional Council (ORC), specifically to assist developers, contractors and service providers in the construction industry. 

New provisions in the ORC’s Regional Plan Water became operative in September last year, strengthening the management of discharges to water, and means that in some development situations consents are required.

“If you’re planning an earthworks project in the Otago region, including small scale works on private property, you will need to make sure you meet the rules. Having a clear plan for erosion and sediment control, getting the right consents and then remaining compliant, protects you, your property and the environment” says ORC’s Senior Environmental Officer Melanie Heather.

“Earthworks activities, if not managed properly can lead to soil loss into waterways which can be detrimental to eco systems and water quality,” says Ms Heather.

“It’s important to follow erosion and sediment control best practice guidance to minimise the adverse effects of erosion and sediment throughout your project,” Ms Heather says.

There have been past instances around Otago where sediment was flushed off earthwork sites into nearby creeks, streams and lakes following rainfall.

Ms Heather says ORC’s Compliance team has developed the guide to provide context to ORC’s residential earthworks provisions, consenting information and on-going consent compliance requirements.

The guide includes content required for any Environmental Management Plans and Erosion and Sediment Control Plans, which are required for most of the consents granted by the ORC, she says.

“The guide is aimed at developers, contractors and service providers in the construction industry,” she says.

Main image: Bremner Bay, Lake Wānaka

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