Sampling of suspected dioxin sites complete

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Testing of 31 suspected dioxin dump sites in and around New Plymouth is nearing completion.

Results of the sampling, which began in May, will be reported to the Taranaki Regional Council later this year.

The sampling follows concerns about a range of historical dioxin contamination issues expressed by and
on behalf of residents in the area surrounding the site now occupied by Dow Agrosciences. Many of the sites
being investigated have already been the subject of previous investigation and monitoring.

But the Taranaki Regional Council wants to emphasise that it takes seriously any allegations about contaminated sites in the Taranaki region. It acknowledges that the co-operation of all interested parties has allowed it to make real progress with the sampling. It also stresses that reports to date do not link IWD (Dow AgroSciences) in any way to inappropriate disposal of waste.

What is recognised by all parties is the need for a comprehensive investigation that serves to effectively answer the concerns of sections of the community once and for all, at least. as far as practicable,” says the Council’s Inspectorate Manager, Brian Calkin.

The Council has undertaken to carry out a three-stage investigation into the alleged disposal sites:

• Identification of the alleged historical dump sites and confirmation of inspection and sampling methods. 

• Undertaking inspection and sampling, and reporting of results. 

• Recommended response actions. Eighty interviews of people with information about sites possibly contaminated by dioxin have been conducted.

Weekly operational meetings of the Taranaki Regional Council’s Inspectorate Section have been held, and attended by members of groups with an interest in the sampling. Interested parties were invited by the Council to have representatives on site during the surveys and sampling. 
The investigations include sub-surface surveys using ground penetrating radar and/or soil conductivity profiling, and sampling and analysis of surface soils, leachate, ground water, surface waters, and sediments for a range of contaminants.

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