Information for land owners, consultants and contractors in the forestry and civil construction sectors
 
On Friday 3rd April 2020 Tasman District Council received some further clarification from Central Government as to what is Essential Service work. Specifically, how such work may relate to the forestry and earthmoving industry during the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown period.
 
‘The advisory was that maintaining earthworks controls, especially on large high risk bulk earthworks site and forestry sites,, is work required to prevent serious environmental harm and therefore is an essential service, as per the advice at: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/essential-businesses/(external link)
 
Work required however, must be to address immediate health or life safety risks, or to prevent serious environmental harm.  This can include the maintenance of control devices on mining, earthworks and forestry sites, such as: existing tailings dams, sediment and erosion devices,  silt retention ponds, earth bunds, silt fences, clean water diversions, forestry skid sites and landing sites, flumes, batters, private access to those works, and similar features. Maintaining these features remains the responsibility of consent holders and operators.  Ensuring compliance remains the responsibility of the Council.
 
While this work can be done It is important to note  Tasman District Council requires notification of any proposed essential maintenance work prior to any entry onto a site. The notification must include the persons doing the work, the location of the site including a set of co-ordinates and a description of the scope of essential maintenance work to be carried out. This is essential information for the purpose of managing the pandemic and will be shared with the Police and Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Emergency Management Centre.
 
Once authorised work is completed, confirmation the work has been carried out should then also be forwarded to the Council. Thus, enabling any environmental management plans and compliance monitoring records to be updated to demonstrate environmental obligations are being met.
 
The Council will continue to work with the industry but remotely in the first instance, however where necessary site inspection may be needed to ensure operators are meeting the above.  In these cases  social distancing and other pandemic response protocols will be adhered to.
 
If you have any queries or wish to advise Council of intended work please contact us on compliance.offcier@tasman.govt.nz(external link) for Earth Moving Industry Works, or NESPFcomplianceadmin@tasman.govt.nz(external link) for Forestry Industry (or to the usual portal link at https://tasman.govt.nz/my-region/environment/environmental-management/land/nespf-plantation-forestry-activity/tell-us-about-plantation-forestry/(external link)).