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Council updates records on landfill sites

Council updates records on landfill sites

The Christchurch City Council is in the process of upgrading its records on former Christchurch landfill sites

In the last six months, it has been investigating and refining its data and information on all known sites in the city.

“Until now, broad areas of land have been identified as containing fill. This has included land filled with either good hard fill or refuse,” Christchurch City Council director of operations, Ken Lawn said.

“Through further investigation, we have been able to remove many sites from our records that are known to contain good hard fill. We can also be more specific about some that are known or suspected to contain refuse,” he said

As sites are identified, they are being incorporated into the Council’s land records. Landowners’ LIMs ( Land Information Memorandums) and PIMs (Project Information Memorandums) are being adjusted, when appropriate.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Mel Brieseman said, that mapping of all known Christchurch landfill sites was an appropriate thing for the Council to do. “There are also likely to be small areas of contamination outside the Council’s control, arising from past activities such as weathering of old lead based paint or people burying coal or wood ash from fires,” he said.

The Council has worked closely with Environment Canterbury in its gathering and refining of data. Under the Resource Management Act, both the Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury are responsible for collecting and managing information about former landfill sites.

Old closed landfills are dotted throughout New Zealand. If they are not sufficiently covered, they can pose problems with soil contamination. Dr Brieseman recommends that anyone who has concerns about possible contamination on their property should consult an environmental chemical consultant to arrange testing. Anyone concerned that they or their household may have health problems as a result of contamination is advised to seek medical advice from their general practitioner.

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