Regional council to seek compo over toxic park

Money donated by Dow AgroSciences to help clean up a contaminated park in New Plymouth is to be used to reimburse the regional council.

Money donated by Dow AgroSciences to help clean up a contaminated park in New Plymouth is to be used to reimburse the regional council.

Nearly 200 cubic metres of soil contaminated with dioxin has been removed from a playground at Marfell Park after Taranaki Regional Council confirmed last week that excavated rusted-out drums belonging to Dow had contained dioxin.

Dow AgroSciences is offering $50,000 to the district council.

The regional council and the New Plymouth District Council have spent more than $50,000 to date on the park to remove toxic soil and test the area.

District council spokesperson Antony Wilson says it has spent $30,000 cleaning up the park and it will have to meet costs incurred by the regional council.

Taranaki Regional Council environment director Gary Bedford says it has spent $27,000 on the clean-up so far and the district council will be asked for the money. He says work is not finished and more money will have to be spent.

The contaminated soil has been moved to the regional landfill in Colson Road, which is designed to ensure that none of the dioxin can leach into ground-water.

Mr Bedford says tests of water run-off at Marfell Park have revealed no contamination, but an independent assessment will be done to allay the fears of nearby residents.

Offer pathetic, says anti-dioxin campaigner

A long-time campaigner against dioxin contamination says the offer is pathetic compared with the health and clean-up costs associated with the company’s activities in New Plymouth.

Andrew Gibbs says it is a timid and minor first step towards mitigating the contamination Dow AgroSciences has caused.

A resident living alongside the park says the companies responsible for the contamination should be the ones to pay for the full cost of the clean-up.

Mark Smith, who lives alongside the park, says the $50,000 figure is only a start, and those responsible should pay for the full testing so residents know whether the park is fit to live by and play in.

Dow AgroSciences spokesperson Andrew Syme says the company understands the community’s concern over the dioxin discovery.

From News, Updated at 7:33 am on 18 June 2009

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/39969/regional-council-to-seek-compo-over-toxic-park

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