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Patea Options Investigated

Taranaki Regional Council media release
07 February 2008
For immediate release

Patea Options Investigated

The Taranaki Regional Council is investigating short-term and medium-term options for dust suppression at the site of the former Patea freezing works.

“We hope to be initiating action as early as next week so the community can be assured everything practicable is being done to reduce the risk of any asbestos particles at the site becoming airborne,” says the Council’s Director-Environment Quality, Gary Bedford.

“In the meantime, the Fire Service is making dust suppression a priority as it damps down the fire at the site.”

People were temporarily evacuated from Patea on Wednesday because of fears of asbestos particles in smoke and dust generated by a large fire at the site. Asbestos can be dangerous if inhaled, though it is not otherwise a poisonous substance.

Longer term, Mr Bedford says the Taranaki Regional Council last year began an assessment of the site and any potentially dangerous substances still there.

“This work will continue, though obviously it has become more challenging,” he says.

When the assessment is complete, a range of options for the future of the site will be drawn up.

“Then it will be up to the South Taranaki District Council and the people of the district to make a decision on the next course of action.

“This whole process is expected to take some time but obviously it has now become more urgent because of the state of the site following the fire.”

ENDS

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