One Auckland site was included in a list of the top 10 contaminated sites prioritised last week for a cleanup under a Government remediation programme.
The Onehunga aquifer, where NZ Farmers Fertiliser operated its works from 1910-84 for the manufacture, storage & handling of fertiliser products, is No 7 on the list. The land is now owned by Auckland Council. The total project cost is estimated at $2.56 million and the Government has contributed $627,000 so far.
Contamination of the site, groundwater & surface water occurred from onsite storage of raw material and effluent discharges. Offsite discharges also affected nearby waterways, including the Miami Stream & Manukau Harbour.
Environment Minister Amy Adams said the next steps were for the Environment Ministry & council to discuss options for remediation.
Ms Adams announced immediate funding of nearly $2.5 million to remediate 2 of the contaminated sites – an extra $2.4 million for the remediation of the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane, taking total Government funding for the project to $4.7 million, and $42,000 more for the Rudolf Steiner School in Christchurch.
Identification & management of contaminated sites are the responsibility of local & regional councils, and remediation is generally at the cost of the landowner. However, in instances where the contamination is historical and the responsible party cannot be pursued, regional councils can apply to the Government for funding assistance.
Attribution: Ministerial release.