Ouvea sites identified

SHARE
One of the warning signs at the former Mataura paper mill.

ALTERNATIVE storage sites for the toxic substance stored in Mataura have been identified following a third day of mediation.

A settlement conference regarding the removal of ouvea premix resumed on Monday, with a view to finalising solutions.

About 8500 tonnes of premix was stored in a building at the former Mataura paper mill, owned by Southland Storage Ltd, on the banks of the Mataura River.

The premix could produce poisonous ammonia gas if it came into contact with water.

Environment Court judge Laurie Newhook said parties were strongly engaged in speeding up the process of removal of ouvea premix from the Mataura building.

Under the present agreement, it would be gone by 2022.

In a statement released on Monday, Judge Newhook said new sites had been identified away from Mataura and other residential areas.

Commercial, central government and local government parties were involved in the logistical and contractual details.

“Given the number of parties involved and the complexities of the material and the hoped-for operations, a little time is needed to bring these things together.”

Mediation began earlier this month between the Environmental Defence Society and New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) at Tiwai Point.

The society filed declaration proceedings against NZAS in July.

Interested parties include the Minister for the Environment, the Gore District Council, Southland Storage Ltd and the Southland Regional Council.

Two further conferences had been set down for October 9 and 14.

Advertisement