The Taranaki Regional Council has decided to take no more action on the alleged historical disposal of dioxin wastes around New Plymouth.
The report on the second stage of the Council’s investigation into alleged inappropriate disposal of agrichemical wastes from the IWD plant, now Dow AgroSciences Ltd, was released last month.
No evidence of environmental risk was found at any of the 36 alleged chemical dump sites in New Plymouth, nor was any evidence found of drum dumps or significant environmental risk.
The investigation was carried out in response to public concerns earlier this year.
Taranaki Regional Council Chief Executive, Basil Chamberlain, said the co-operation of the public and
interested parties was sought to identify and locate all the alleged sites.
The Council facilitated input from interested parties and the investigating team’s weekly operational meetings were attended by representatives of the Dioxin Investigation Network, the Dioxin Investigation Action Group, Greens, Surfriders, Vietnam Veterans, Paritutu Property Rights Group, and the Paritutu Community Residents Group.
Thirty-six sites were identified in the Stage One report for further investigation and sampling. The second stage, which took four months to complete, investigated whether there was any environmental risk from any of the identified alleged dump sites, and whether any inappropriate dumping or disposal had occurred.
The report shows that five dump sites were known to the Council and were rehabilitated in the 1980s. The original clean-up was found to be effective, and there was no evidence of any additional waste.
Mr Chamberlain said there was no evidence of disposal of agrichemical wastes at any of the other 31 sites.
The report concluded there was no evidence of environmental risk at any site, or in the marine environment near any site on the coast.
The Council’s investigation included detailed site inspections, analysis of aerial photographs and other historical records, probing with augers and an excavator at two sites, the use of ground penetrating radar, and sampling of soils, sediments, surface and groundwaters, leachate, and marine biota.
The samples were analysed by AgriQuality NZ Ltd.
The Council’s Director, Resource Management, Bill Bayfield, said while members of DIAG [*Dioxin Investigation Action Group] and DIN [*Dioxin Investigation Network] had expressed reservations about the interpretation of results, particularly in the levels of dioxin found in one sample of shellfish, they had indicated they would not be pursuing the matter of alleged dumps further.
* added by blog to make easier to understand
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