Toxic waste stores pose ‘no risk’ to residents

    Ouvea premix is a waste byproduct of aluminium production at Tiwai Point.

    IN CONTRAST to the toxic smelter waste stored in Mataura, the dross now in Invercargill poses no risk to residents, a council spokesman says.

    Ouvea premix is a waste byproduct of aluminium production at Tiwai Point.

    Mediation involving New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) concluded last month and resulted in the planned accelerated removal of the substance from Mataura.

    It would be taken back to Tiwai Point for storage until it was processed for export.

    However, in addition to the 10,000 tonnes stored at the old paper mill, another 12,000 tonnes was stored throughout Southland.

    Invercargill City Council (ICC) Customer and Environment group manager Darren Edwards said resource consent had been granted to store the waste at four sites in Invercargill city; Colyer Rd, Annan St, Liddell St, and Bond St.

    The Colyer Rd site was ICC-owned land.

    “As part of the resource consent process, an assessment is made to determine any parties which may be affected.”

    As the locations were all zoned were no residents in the vicinity of any of these sites, he said.

    “The resource consents in place set out what is allowed on site, and enables council to undertake monitoring as deemed necessary under the Resource Management Act.”

    Staff were reviewing the information relating to the storage and the consents in place, with a view to undertake inspections soon.

    “An agreement is in place between all property owners and NZAS to facilitate the removal of the material.”

    The agreement had been in place for some time, however priority was being given to the removal of the material stored at Mataura, he said.

    • Additional reporting Karen Pasco