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Environment Canterbury response to Lyttelton fuel spill

Environment Canterbury response to Lyttelton fuel spill – 1700hrs, 7 March 2014

New information:
• Environment Canterbury wildlife experts have undertaken further assessments of the upper harbour
• Several thin oil slicks were observed in the harbour, similar to yesterday
• There is no strong evidence to suggest the level of fuel lost to water is greater than the 1500l estimated earlier
• On-water samples have been collected and will be laboratory tested (timeline for results to be available is unknown at this stage)
• Some evidence has been found of fuel inside the land/sea boom area placed in front of a storm water outlet – this is being collected via a skimmer
• This boom will remain in place until the risk of fuel entering the harbour is removed
• Lyttelton Harbour is still open for commercial and recreational use but Naval Point Marina is closed to all access

Environment Canterbury response to Lyttelton fuel spill (previous information that is still relevant)

• Environment Canterbury is working with multiple agencies and organisations in response to the fuel leak at Lyttelton Port of Christchurch following the storms this week
• Environment Canterbury’s immediate priority and focus is on containing the entry of fuel in to Lyttelton Harbour
• The marine response involves the collection and disposal of fuel around protecting the environment and local wildlife
• The marine oil response team has deployed a boom in the harbour and the stormwater outlet and this is capturing a small amount of fuel
• 1,500 litres of fuel is estimated to have escaped into the sea
• Yesterday (6 March) Environment Canterbury marine response staff conducted two on-water assessments in the harbour
• Small amounts of fuel was observed in several locations – but it is very thin and appears to be dispersing naturally
• Further on-water monitoring will be undertaken throughout the day today
• To date, there has been no recorded impact on wildlife
• Once the marine response is complete Environment Canterbury will review the incident
• There have been no other reports of oil spills from other sources in Lyttelton Harbour received by Environment Canterbury, although there is some comment to this effect

ENDS

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