The lawyer for a meat processing company has told a resource consent hearing in Christchurch its application to discharge treated wastewater into the Waimakariri river is for emergencies only.
Silver Fern Farms has applied to Canterbury Regional Council for the renewal of a consent to discharge water used to clean its abattoirs when the quake-damaged treatment plant in Christchurch cannot take it.
The company's lawyer, Jo Appleyard, said Silver Fern Farms does not want to be applying for consent, because it does not want to be in a position to have to discharge treated wastewater ino the river.
The company's chief operating officer, Kevin Winders, said misleading publicity had lead the public to believe the company wanted to pump untreated animal waste into the river.
But he said consent will only be needed until the city council repairs its treatment plant in Bromley.