Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

New national standard on contaminated soil

New national standard on contaminated soil

Environment Minister Nick Smith today announced a new National Environment Standard on contaminated soil saying clear rules are needed for councils to manage public health risks.

"New Zealand has thousands of sites that have some level of contamination from previous use as gas works, timber treatment plants, livestock dips, fuel stations, chemical plants, sprayed horticulture or mines," Dr Smith said.

Only 14 of 73 district plans have rules to manage these problems. The new National Environment Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health will help protect the public by providing greater certainty on which sites pose a health risk and need containment or clean up.

The 12 soil containments covered by the new National Environment Standard are arsenic, boron, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, benzo(a)pyrene, DDT, dieldrin, PCP and dioxin. The concentration limits vary for the five different land uses - rural, residential, high density residential, recreational and commercial/industrial.

"This initiative is part of the Government's broader programme of providing stronger national direction on the Resource Management Act, which includes the new Environmental Protection Authority, and further National Policy Statements and National Environment Standards. It is far more efficient to have one nationwide standard for managing contaminated sites given the expense of expert toxicologists, and the similar risks to human health throughout the country," Dr Smith said.

"A draft of the National Environment Standard was publicly notified and released for consultation in early 2010 drawing 106 submissions. The Government, in response to submissions and expert advice, has tightened the soil contaminant standards, particularly in respect of cadmium, benzo(a)pyrene and lead based on the most recent scientific advice.

"There was concern from submitters including the Green Party that this National Environment Standard should go further than just protecting public health and include effects on the natural environment. This was based on advice that there is insufficient robust data to base toxicological limits for protection of the environment.

"I am happy to explore with the Green Party extending the new standard by engaging appropriate expertise to review the best available scientific information on whether this advice is correct."

The National Environment Standard will be gazetted by an Order in Council to take effect on 1 September 2011. A series of workshops will be held and guidance information will be distributed to councils, industry and landowners to assist implementation of the new standard.
The NES is available at: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/hazardous/contaminated/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Bojo Visit

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson is in town today, just over a year since his political career peaked… and then wobbled off into a grey zone of indecision...

Currently, Johnson is touring the former colonies, talking up the historical ties. More>>

 

Backing Dunne & Seymour: National Signals Election Intentions

“We are encouraging National supporters to give their electorate vote to ACT candidate, David Seymour, in Epsom, and United Future candidate, Peter Dunne, in Ohariu – and their party vote to National." More>>

ALSO:

Climate Policy: Govt's New Proposals For ETS

“Last year, as a result of stage one of the review, we announced the phase out of the one-for-two measure in the ETS. I am now announcing further changes as a result of stage two of the review.” More>>

PM's Press Conference: Boris, Infrastructure, Immigration, Drugs

Prime Minister Bill English opened this week's post-cabinet press conference by revisiting that day's announcement of 'Crown Infrastructure Partners'... More>>

Employers Pleased: Reports Of Govt Backdown On Low-Wage Immigration

MEA: We are pleased to hear that the Government is planning to review incoming immigration changes with a specific focus on how they will affect the regions. Effectively addressing skills shortages in manufacturing and other sectors needs to remain a core part of our immigration system ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ch-Ch-Changes At IRD

Job cuts aren’t happening at the IRD, exactly. Instead, there’s apparently a ‘transformation’ in store, and jobs won’t be axed ; no, they will be ‘transformed’ before our eyes into… non-jobs, if you happen to be among the unlucky legion of 1,900 who are being lined up for transformation... More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Mental Health: Hospital Too 'Awful' For Reviewers To Visit

Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark... More>>

ALSO:

Greens Call For Govt Action: Children Sick Because Of NZ Housing

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians president-elect said today that children with preventable respiratory illnesses are being re-admitted to hospital because they're being sent back to cold, damp homes. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election