Proposed extension of geothermal discharges to the Tarawera River

Ngati Tuwhatetoa Geothermal Assets (NGTA) hold resource consents which allows them to discharge spent geothermal fluid to the Tarawera River until 2021 at which time they will be required to discharge the fluid via reinjection. NTGA sought a change to their consent conditions to allow the discharge to the river to occur until 2035. Dr Ngaire Phillips was engaged to provide ecotoxicology expertise to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council s42a officer on this application. The proposed extension of the existing discharge consent was 14 years. Ngaire’s role was to a) review the aquatic toxicology report supporting the application for adequacy in assessing effects of the proposed activity on the receiving environment and human health risks, b) review the proposed monitoring programme, c) make recommendations on any further information required, d) review any new information arising from the initial review and e) comment on proposed consent conditions. The final decision allowed for a further 3 years of operation under the current discharge regime. Recommendations by Ngaire for additional monitoring to address gaps identified in the application were adopted by the applicant.

Champagne Pool, Rotarua Geothermal area