Min­ing com­pany fined for Ka¯whia diesel spill

Waipa Post - - News -

A west coast min­ing com­pany has been con­victed and fined $60,750 for dis­charg­ing 4000 litres of diesel into a stream last year.

The case was brought against Ta­haroa Iron­sands Lim­ited fol­low­ing mul­ti­ple com­plaints of con­tam­i­na­tion of the Wainui Stream at their mine site near Ka¯whia in Au­gust 2017.

One res­i­dent said they had tracked the rain­bow­coloured diesel fuel about 400m to the Tas­man Sea.

Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil started a for­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The coun­cil found the dis­charge had oc­curred in a high-volt­age area where ac­cess was con­trolled.

Through a se­ries of events, diesel had flowed from a fuel blad­der into the site’s stormwa­ter sys­tem and then into the stream.

The con­vic­tion and fine were im­posed last week in the Te Ku¯ iti District Court by Judge Me­lanie Har­land, who said the com­pany’s ac­tiv­i­ties were “care­less,” and that its care­less­ness caused the of­fence.

The judge noted that the lack of clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion, fail­ure to fol­low iso­la­tion pro­ce­dures and re­stricted ac­cess to the high­volt­age area had all con­trib­uted to the breach. The coun­cil’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions and in­ci­dent re­sponse man­ager, Pa­trick Lynch, said this was com­pletely avoid­able.

“Com­pa­nies that use and store haz­ardous sub­stances have to en­sure they have good in­fra­struc­ture and pro­ce­dures in place.

“Ac­ci­dents can hap­pen. When they do, sub­stances like fu­els and oils need to be con­tained so they do not es­cape into the en­vi­ron­ment and cause harm,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.