Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Acid rain from cement plant threat to Oamaru

Waiareka Valley Preservation Society Inc.

Acid rain from the Holcim cement plant represents extreme threat to Oamaru’s historic precinct

Press Release

Embargoed until 7pm 12 December 2006

Today the Waiareka Valley Preservation Society held its first public meeting in Weston where the Society spokesman Rodney Jones presented what information the group had collected so far on the impact of Holcim’s planned cement plant at Weston.

At this meeting Mr Jones highlighted the risks posed to Oamaru’s and North Otago’s future by the Holcim cement works.

In particular, acid rain from the Holcim cement plant represents an extreme threat both to Oamaru’s historic precinct, and to the large number of historic limestone homes, barns and other historic buildings in the broader Oamaru and Waiareka Valley area.

Historic Oamaru is now recognised as being a key part of our national heritage as New Zealanders. This would all be threatened if Holcim – a foreign company with no significant New Zealand shareholders - were to be granted resource consent to construct their cement plant.

With a planned capacity of one million tonnes p.a, the Holcim cement plant would emit up to 600 to 700kg of nitrogen oxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) per hour. The exact amounts emitted would depend on the pollution control equipment at the plant and the sulphur content of the Ngapara coal that Holcim intends to use. Irrespective, the volumes of oxides emitted would be extraordinarily large, reaching up to or in excess of 6m kg per annum.

When sulphur dioxide gets into the atmosphere, it oxidizes to first form a sulphate ion. It then becomes sulphuric acid as it joins with hydrogen atoms in the air and falls back to the earth as acid rain.

In the case of the Holcim cement plant, evidence from the United States and Canada suggests a high proportion of the acid rain would occur within a 15km radius of the cement plant. And this includes Oamaru, with its historic heritage of limestone buildings, for the historic precinct is only 7.5km from the smoke stack.

When this acid rain lands on a limestone building, the sulphuric acid is neutralised as mineral gypsum and carbon dioxide are produced. Gypsum is 100 times more soluble than the calcite, and therefore gets washed away with the rain water.

Because of the relatively large volumes of acid rain that will fall on buildings that have had no exposure to acidic rain in 120-130 years, the historic buildings will deteriorate with extraordinary rapidity. The intensity of the acid rain will be highly corrosive. Rapid deterioration and eventual erosion will occur.

If the Holcim cement plant is granted consent, historic Oamaru will quite literally begin to dissolve before our eyes.

Oamaru has survived with Victorian architecture and design intact due to the lack of heavy industry. To introduce heavy sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emitting industry now will quickly destroy all that is precious and of value to our community.

The Holcim cement plant must not go ahead.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news