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“AFFCO Fined For Polluting Manukau Stream”

“AFFCO Fined For Polluting Manukau Stream”

AFFCO Allied Products Ltd has been fined $16,000 and ordered to pay $3,650 costs for contaminating the Homai Stream, following a successful prosecution in the Environment Court by the Auckland Regional Council.

The charges stemmed from an incident in June 1998 when failure of a wastewater diversion system at AFFCO’s Dalgety Drive tannery site caused the discharge of tannery wastewater into the Homai Stream.

ARC Pollution Control Officer Steve Tyson says that incident followed the discovery of contaminants in the Homai Stream six weeks earlier and a request to AFFCO to investigate the incident.

“On May 7, the stormwater system below the AFFCO site was found to be running with a foaming, black precipitate which carried a pungent sulphurous odour,” Mr Tyson says.

“Analysis revealed the discharge, which originated from the site, contained a variety of substances with twice the contamination potential of raw sewage.

The ARC has dealt with a number of stormwater contamination problems associated with the AFFCO site dating as far back as 1988.

“It is disappointing that during that time, and with considerable input from our pollution control team, AFFCO has failed to clean up its act,” Mr Tyson says.

ARC Environmental Management Committee Chairperson Patricia Thorp is pleased with the conviction but disappointed that the ARC had to resort to such action.

“The ARC and Manukau City Council have been involved in a joint programme to clean up the Homai Stream since mid 1997. Considerable educational resources have been used, targeting industries in the catchment, to ensure that they are aware of their environmental responsibilities.

“Despite this effort, some companies do not seem to have taken the message seriously.

“Other potential polluters should interpret the AFFCO case as a signal that the ARC will continue to pursue such matters with vigour, wherever they occur in the Auckland region.”

AFFCO is due to be sentenced in the Environment Court in March 2001 following another successful prosecution by the ARC. The company has pleaded guilty to an incident of discharging wastewater into the Homai Stream over three days in January 1999.

- END -

For further information please call:

Patricia Thorp
Chairperson, ARC Environmental Management Committee
Phone 366-2000 ext 7047
Mobile 025 623 9782

Or

Steve Tyson
ARC Pollution Control Officer
Phone 366-2000 ext 8171
Mobile 025 308 618


Or

Simon Roche
ARC Communications
Phone 366-2000 ext 8100
Mobile 021 656 380.

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