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Clean up works begin at kindergarten this week

4 May 2006

Clean up works begin at kindergarten this week

Auckland City contractors will move on-site to clear contaminated soil from the Freemans Bay Kindergarten tomorrow.

Recent soil testing revealed elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including benzo-a-pyrene, in localised areas of the site at Tahuna Street in Freemans Bay. A single elevated lead level was found by the rubbish storage area.

The kindergarten is the last of nine council-owned childcare facilities to have soil testing done. It was tested because it was close to two other pre-school sites where contamination from historically imported gasworks fill was found.

The Deputy Mayor, Dr Bruce Hucker, says a meeting was held with Freemans Bay Kindergarten parents last night to discuss the test results and the remediation plans.

"Some parts of this site can be classified as clean, but there are some areas of localised contamination where we've found elevated levels of lead and organic chemicals, like benzo-a-pyrene.

"The potential health risk to children is likely to be very low, but it's our policy to adopt a precautionary approach and clean up these sites as quickly as possible and that's what we are doing here," Dr Hucker says.

The remediation works will begin on Friday and will involve: * removing areas of contaminated soil * installing a high-strength barrier mat below ground in these areas * re-filling these areas with clean soil.

The council will then fund any landscaping work that is required and assist the kindergarten to implement its proposed playground upgrade plan next month.

Remediation work is now complete at other council-owned pre-school sites including Auckland Central Playcentre, Barnardos Early Learning Centre, Onehunga Playcentre and Ferndale Kindergarten. Remediation of the Mt Albert Playcentre will be completed today.

Landscaping and site rehabilitation work is on-going at all sites.

ENDS

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