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Fast action on major oil spill

Fast action on major oil spill

17 January 2006

Serious environmental damage from a major oil spill in Mangere has been prevented by a fast response.

Approximately 2000 litres of oil spilled from a fuel storage site in Tidal Rd on Saturday. The oil began to flow into a tributary of Waokauri Creek, which feeds into the Manukau Harbour.

Transport Dynamics, the company storing the oil, called the ARC's 24 hour pollution hotline when it discovered the spill, which was caused by an accident on site.

ARC pollution response officers, Transport Dynamics and Spill Response NZ Ltd then worked together to contain the spill within the stream. Oil was removed from the stream using absorbent materials and vacuum loading trucks.

ARC pollution response officer Graham Surrey says the company's fast action prevented major environmental damage.

"They were pretty swift at getting in touch with the ARC's pollution hotline, which helped us to act quickly in containing the oil.

"If the spill wasn't dealt with quickly it could have affected more of the stream and ended up in the Manukau Harbour. This could potentially have had a significant effect on the water quality and aquatic life."

Oil smothers animals and habitat and can partially dissolve in water, introducing toxic substances into the environment. It can poison plants and animals, potentially causing long-term health effects or death.

Following pollution incidents fish, insects and plant life can be killed, habitats destroyed and streams can take up to ten years to recover.

The ARC pollution response team would like to commend Transport Dynamics and Spill Response NZ for their prompt action and urge other businesses to act similarly in the event of a spill.

Pollution incidents affecting stormwater or natural water should be immediately reported to the 24 hour Water Pollution Hotline on (09) 377 3107.


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