Toxic Spills Triggers Call For Inquiry
National's Environment spokesperson Nick Smith today called for a Ministerial Inquiry into the storage of chemicals on trucks after two serious toxic spills in as many weeks on roads in the north of the South Island.
"Our clean, green environment cannot sustain repeated dumping of tonnes of toxic chemicals. Yesterdays spill of 26 tonnes of formaldehyde resin on the Hope Saddle comes only a fortnight after the dumping of 1.8 tonnes of brodifacoum poison on the Kaikoura Coast.
"The road transport industry needs to answer some tough questions about the standards of safety and environmental protection following these two serious chemical spills.
"A major concern is the standard of storage of dangerous chemicals on trucks. It is inevitable there will be some road accidents involving trucks carrying dangerous chemicals, but the storage vessels should be capable of preventing large spills. In both recent crashes the storage seemed quite inadequate.
"The Ministers of Transport and the Environment should initiate an inquiry to determine whether the standards are adequate.
"It is fortunate that no one was seriously injured in either accident. On these occasions it is the environment that has suffered. An inquiry is necessary to ensure better protection of the environment in future," Dr Smith said.