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Shareholders confront burning issue

Shareholders confront burning issue at Auckland Airport AGM

18 November 2002 - Greenpeace took the issue of pollution to the heart of Auckland International Airport Ltd’s (AIAL) shareholder accountability process today, through a shareholder resolution to the Annual General Meeting.

AIAL jointly owns an incinerator to treat its airport “quarantine” waste. The incinerator has been illegally breaching its operating limits for dioxin, the most toxic chemical known to science.

“We have made the company face up to this issue, and ensured shareholders know that there are alternatives to the incinerator,” said Sue Connor, Greenpeace campaigner.

“Shareholders need to know that their company is causing this environmental damage and take responsibility,” said Connor.

“AIAL has chosen to treat its waste with a dirty polluting incinerator, when other companies in New Zealand have chosen to change to cleaner processes, such as steam sterilisation, which do not produce deadly toxic chemicals.”

AIAL agreed to fulfil the demand of Manukau City Council, the third largest shareholder, that the company urgently investigate alternative ways of treating their waste.

“While Greenpeace welcomes this call, AIAL has been breaking the law on its pollution for almost three years. They have had ample time to investigate alternative treatment options,” said Sue Connor.

“If they investigate alternatives properly, they will find that steam sterilisation is the only practical alternative to dioxin producing incineration.”

“Greenpeace successfully put the issue of AIAL’s polluting incinerator in front of all fifty nine thousand of the company’s shareholders,” said Sue Connor.

“While the resolution did not pass formally, the company can be left in no doubt that this is an important issue for shareholders.”

The resolution was; That the company (AIAL) commit to cease incineration of all quarantine waste within 12 months and change to steam sterilisation.

Residents of Mangere community, located downwind of the incinerator, also attended the AGM to convey their concerns.

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