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AFFCO Fined Again Over Homai Stream Pollution

March 6, 2001

For the second time in three months an Environment Court judge has fined AFFCO Allied Products Ltd for contaminating Manukau’s Homai Stream.

In a sentencing hearing on Friday the court fined AFFCO a total of $21,000 and ordered the company to pay $7050 costs for three separate pollution incidents in January 1999. The sentencing followed a successful prosecution by the Auckland Regional Council.

AFFCO pleaded guilty to the offences which occurred when a stormwater diversion system at the company’s Dalgety Drive tannery failed on three consecutive days.

The system was supposed to divert leachate, from pallets of pelts stored in the tannery yard, away from the stormwater system.

On the days in question leachate entered a tile drain which drained into the stormwater system and the cesspit designed to contain the run off was not blocked off from the stormwater system as required. On one of the days a pump designed to divert the run off away from the stormwater system failed

As a result the run off, described by investigating ARC pollution control officers as an odourous, salty, greasy liquid, ended up in the Homai Stream, a tributary of the larger Puhinui Stream.

ARC Environmental Management Committee chairperson Patricia Thorp says AFFCO was informed as far back as 1989 that they would need to ensure contaminants, including pelt leachate, was kept out of the stormwater system. Since then ARC officers have recorded a long list of pollution incidents at the site.

“It is evident that, despite repeated requests over the years from ARC officers, AFFCO has failed to ensure contaminants did not reach the stormwater system,” Cr Thorp says.

“That’s extremely disappointing when both the ARC and Maunkau City have gone invested considerable resources to educate industrial operators in the Homai Stream catchment about their environmental responsibilities.”


This latest sentence follows a $16,000 fine handed out to AFFCO in December for contaminating the Homai stream in June 1998

In that case, analysis of the discharge, which originated form the Dalgety Drive site, revealed a variety of substances with twice the contamination potential of raw sewage.

- END -

For further information please call:

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

or

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

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