Dross protest out­side pot­line re­open­ing

The Southland Times - - News - Michael Fal­low

While the green cre­den­tials of Ti­wai alu­minium were front-and­cen­tre at the Pot­line 4 re­open­ing yes­ter­day, road­side protesters were warn­ing about the lin­ger­ing pres­ence of dross byprod­uct.

The Dross Ac­tion Group cited 30,000 tonnes of ou­vea pre­mix still at the former Mataura pa­per mill, In­ver­cargill store­houses and Colyer road.

The now-de­funct Taha Asia Pa­cific had un­der con­tract taken smelter dross, ex­tracted fur­ther alu­minium and pro­cessed the re­main­der into ou­vea pre­mix, for fer­tiliser.

But Taha went into liq­ui­da­tion in 2016 and the con­tentious is­sue of re­spon­si­bil­ity for all the un­claimed left­overs ended when a deal was struck un­der which the Gov­ern­ment and NZAS car­ried three-quar­ters of the cost and south­ern coun­cils and land­lords divvied up the rest.

Group spokesper­son Cherie Chap­man said an over­seas buyer for the pre­mix had yet to sign off on the con­tract. And there were still tonnes of dross on a Green­hills farm.

The com­mu­nity had waited too long for re­moval of a toxic time bomb, Chap­man said. Had the Mataura mill flooded, as was threat­ened, in Fe­bru­ary it would have been an eco­log­i­cal dis­as­ter.

‘‘We be­lieve NZAS should step up and of­fer to store the re­main­ing ou­vea pre­mix on-site un­til the al­leged buyer has signed on the dot­ted line.’’

The group wanted an in­de­pen­dent in­quiry into NZAS waste man­age­ment and for En­vi­ron­ment South­land to de­velop clear pro­to­cols around mon­i­tor­ing, prod­uct check­ing, stor­ing and dis­posal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.