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Pipeline rupture update #03

Pipeline rupture update #03

Northland Regional Council position 0900hrs Weds 20 Sept

The council is sampling groundwater bores to establish existing water quality parameters in the vicinity.

Containment and recovery continues to be led by Refining NZ
Regional council continues to monitor the recovery and clean-up operation to ensure it is being carried out appropriately and a suitable remediation plan is implemented
Tomorrow (21/09) will mark a week since the leak was reported, however, at this stage council’s primary focus continues to be ensuring the appropriate recovery of the spilled fuel and site clean-up
Council staff have been sampling groundwater bores to establish existing water quality parameters in the vicinity* *(see attached image)
Council staff are still carrying out daily checks on the clean-up operation; this includes supervising refinery sampling
Council remains satisfied the clean-up/repair operation is being carried out appropriately in the circumstances
There still does not appear to be any significant environmental damage, despite the large volumes of fuel spilled (estimated by the refinery at up 80,000 litres)
This is attributed to a combination of a prompt response, containment and recovery measures, together with the land-based location of the incident – on farmland close to the refinery – which makes the clean-up/recovery operation more straightforward
Large volumes of contaminated groundwater continue to be trucked back to the refinery for product recovery/disposal as required. Contaminated soil will also be removed from the site and initially stored at the refinery, prior to final disposal at an approved landfill
As with any spill, the regional council is investigating the circumstances leading up to it and will consider what, if any, further action is appropriate in due course. (This could include formal enforcement action.)
However, the council reiterates any such action is currently secondary to its primary focus; appropriate recovery of the spilled fuel and site clean-up
Questions about the status of any repairs to the pipeline and/or any issues regarding fuel stocks or supplies are matters for the refining company, not the regional council


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