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Council must front up with explanation

7 February 2008

Council must front up with explanation for fumigation

Greater Wellington regional council owes Wellingtonians an explanation over why it is turning a blind eye to the use of a hazardous fumigant at the port, the Green Party says.

Methyl Bromide is being used to fumigate logs at Wellington's port in close proximity to Westpac stadium, Victoria University's campus at the railway station, and visiting cruise ships.

"The regional council is supposed to be an environmental watch dog, protecting Wellingtonians from risks, yet is dragging its feet on this issue. It should immediately stop the use of this highly toxic gas until the fumigation company sets up recapture technology as is to be required at the Nelson port," Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says

"The regional council, which owns half of The Port of Wellington, is hiding behind a very small fig leaf when it says Methyl Bromide fumigation is a permitted activity," Mrs Kedgley says.

"There is ample evidence of how toxic this gas is, and the potentially serious effects it can have on human health.

"This gas can travel quite a significant distance. It is utterly irresponsible to allow this to carry on with apartments and businesses within cooee of the fumigation site."

"Methyl Bromide is also one of the most ozone depleting substances that humans have ever invented. It seems bizarre that the regional council would allow its direct release into the atmosphere, knowing that it will contribute to a problem that will particularly impact New Zealanders," Mrs Kedgley says.


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