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/


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Countdown, And Mary Margaret O’Hara

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news