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Black-Douglas Fined For Dumping Sediment

Auckland firm Black-Douglas Contracting Ltd has been fined $13,000 by the Environment Court for deliberately dumping sediment into a waterway during the realignment of State Highway between Albany and Orewa.

The Auckland Regional Council prosecuted Black-Douglas under the Resource Management Act following the incident on August 31 1999.The company was sentenced at a hearing today.

At the time of the offence Black-Douglas was working for W Stevenson and Sons Ltd which was in turn contracted by Transit New Zealand.

While undertaking a de-sludging operation at a sediment retention pond site just north of Lonely Track Rd, Black-Douglas staff bucketed out sediment into an adjacent gully. The sediment flowed into Wright Stream and on into the Okura River which feeds into the Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve.

ARC Environmental Management Committee chairperson Patricia Thorp says that single act defeated the purpose for which the pond was built.

“The pond was there to ensure that the sediment-laden run off from the earthworks did not pollute the environment,” she says.

“Transit and ARC officers had gone to a great deal of trouble to ensure the conditions of the resource consent were met and measures needed to protect the environment were put in place, so the incident was a slap in the face for them as well as a setback for nearby waterways.”

ARC scientists reported that the fine nature of the sediment is likely to have affected aquatic organisms in present in Wright Stream for several hundred metres downstream and much of it would have carried through to the Okura Estuary.

Cr Thorp says in the circumstances the ARC had no hesitation in prosecuting Black Douglas and will not hesitate to take legal action against other companies who are similarly remiss in the future.

For further information please call:

Paul Metcalf
ARC Senior Soil Conservator
Phone 366-2000 ext 8306
Mobile 025 904 344


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

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