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Industrial and Trade Activity (ITA) business and stormwater

Why stormwater systems are critical to our environment

Chemicals and other hazardous substances entering stormwater drains can have a devastating impact on our environment. Hazardous substances can:
  • poison waterways
  • reduce oxygen levels
  • degrade native habitats.

What enters stormwater drains and waterways ends up at sea.

Wastewater, which is water used in flushing toilets and showering, is filtered and goes to a wastewater treatment plant. Stormwater on the other hand is not filtered or treated.

While a lot of people use hazardous substances, some businesses have larger amounts and stronger concentrations onsite.

This increases the risk of damage to our environment should a hazardous substance enter stormwater drains.

See What you should keep out of the stormwater drain for more information.

What is an Industrial and Trade Activity (ITA)

An ITA is any commercial business that produces, uses or stores hazardous substances.

Environmentally hazardous substances can be:

  • cooking oil and food waste at a bakery
  • paint and petrol at a mechanic
  • chemicals and other by-products at a factory or a manufacturing plant.

These commercial businesses should have a plan in place to properly store and dispose hazardous substances.

The plan must ensure these substances do not accidentally run into stormwater drains, streams and coastal waters.

It is also important that everyone onsite knows what to do if a substance is spilled.

Find out if your business is classified as an ITA site

The Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) lists a number of commercial activities classified as industrial and trade activity.

Each activity is assigned a risk level of low, moderate or high. This depends on the type of substances associated with the activity and the area of land the activity occurs in.

For example, a small local bakery is classified as low risk whereas a large factory producing bread for supermarkets is high risk.

Read the attached document to find out if your business is classified as an ITA site.

​Check if you need a consent for your ITA site

The level of risk at your site will determine whether you need an ITA consent and an Environmental Management Plan (EMP).

This table lists the actions required for different site risk levels:

Site risk level Action required
Low risk
  • Permitted activity standards must be met
  • Monitor for changes in risk level
Medium risk           
  • Permitted activity standards must be met
  • EMP completed and implemented
​High risk
  • ​ITA consent required
  • EMP completed and implemented

Complete the ITA pre-assessment form and email us on

We will then advise you on the next steps and support you in the ITA compliance process.

​How to prepare for an ITA site assessment

We will review the information you have provided after we have received your pre-assessment form.

If your business activity is moderate or high risk, we will arrange to visit your site.

The purpose of the visit is to:

  • familiarise ourselves with your site and business
  • check what processes you have in place
  • see how and where improvements can be made.

Every site is different with different levels of risk and ways to manage it. We have information available for you to prepare for an ITA site assessment.

Following our visit, we will provide you with a site assessment report and helpful guides.

Environmental Management Plan (EMP)

It is good practice to have an EMP regardless of your site's risk level.

This ensures everyone onsite knows how to properly store, handle, and dispose hazardous substances.

An EMP identifies parts of your business that handle hazardous substances and outlines steps needed to prevent a discharge.

Preparing an EMP does not need to be complex. It should reflect what you do onsite and often it is about documenting your current processes.

​More information

For more information, read the documents or email us on

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