Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DCC discloses 13% of potentially contaminated sites

It is good that councils have been forced to disclose potentially contaminated sites in their areas.

The DCC has disclosed the following:

"30 properties in Dunedin contaminated by petrol spills, buried asbestos and industrial chemicals have been revealed by the Dunedin City Council. The list includes 14 current and former service stations and garages across the city, found to have had a variety of petrol spills and other mishaps during their operational lives.

It also includes details of pesticides dumped at the AgResearch Invermay site at Mosgiel, and asbestos buried under the Orokonui Holiday and Recreation Park site, near Waitati.

The city's confirmed contamination hotspots were released to the Otago Daily Times this week, following a request under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. "

Well done DCC?

Oh dear

"However, the council is withholding details of another 194 sites - including 50 residential and 145 commercial properties - scattered across the city and also suspected of possible contamination."

And why not?

"In a letter to the ODT, he argued information about suspected sites remained "unverified" and required further work, and would be released only after payment of a $15,050 fee covering staff research costs.

Staff would need to spend an estimated 480 hours researching and preparing a 2000-page report, he said.

The cost of the report would actually be more than $36,000, but the council was prepared to undertake the work at a reduced rate "in the interests of the public good", he said. "

Not good enough in my book.

Money or public safety DCC?
The sites:-

• AgResearch Invermay, Puddle Alley Mosgiel

• Andersons Bay Gasworks, Andersons Bay Rd

• Former BP Concord, 92 Corstorphine Rd

• BP Regent, George St

• Coronation Hall, 97 Gordon St, Mosgiel

• Gardens Service Centre/Mobil Oil, 904 Cumberland St

• Glendermid Leathers, Sawyers Bay

• Mobil Service Station, 21 Factory Rd, Mosgiel

• North Taieri landfill/recycle centre, Milner Rd, East Taieri

• Orokonui Holiday and Recreation Park, 62 Orokonui Rd

• Shell Dunedin depot, Wickliffe St

• Shell Fairfield, 46 Main Rd, Fairfield

• Wingatui closed landfill, Gladstone Rd, Wingatui

• 57 Selwyn St, (formerly Begg's woollen dye works factory)

• Caltex Oil Dunedin depot, Fryatt St

• Fairfield Landfill Envirowaste, Old Brighton Rd

• Ferrum Engineering, 10 Birch St

• Fitzroy Service Station

• Greenacres Garage, Greenacres St

• Hargest Service Centre, 125a Hargest Cres

• Former Kaikorai Valley Service Station Ltd, 433 Stuart St

• McFarlanes Tyre Service, 101 Harrow St

• Former Methven Tap Makers, 374 Andersons Bay Rd

• Midland St Landfill, 29 Midland St, Dunedin

• Old Brighton Rd/Duncan's yard, 90-100 Old Brighton Rd

• Former Shell Gordon Rd, 85 Gordon Rd

• Willowbank Quarter, 642/644 Great King St

• Young Brothers, 42 Stedman Rd
The other 194 sites will have to wait until the DCC decides public safety is more important than money - sorry.

Footnote - I won't go round all the councils but two of interest.

The Tasman District Council is still refusing to reveal its contaminated site register, despite the Greater Wellington Regional Council doing so.

The Office of the Ombudsmen is investigating two complaints about the Tasman council's position. It has received a report from the council on the reasons why it is declining to release the list of more than 800 potentially contaminated sites.

Today, a register of more than 1700 contaminated or at-risk sites around Wellington – including some polluted with heavy metals, solvents, chemicals, fertilisers and munitions – was revealed.

The sites include Wellington's St James Theatre and Karori Sanctuary.

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