Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Lake Benmore Gets Clean Bill Of Health

30 September 2005

Lake Benmore Gets Clean Bill Of Health

Lake Benmore has been given a clean bill of health after four reports all confirmed mercury levels in the lake are well within safety limits, the Treasury announced today.

The reports were undertaken after information emerged last year that drums containing porcelain mercury arc valves were disposed of in Lake Benmore by the New Zealand Electricity Department on two occasions, in 1969 and 1973-74.

Environmental management specialists URS New Zealand were commissioned to assess the potential risks from mercury in the valves.

“The URS report concluded that while there may be some residual mercury in the valves, the levels are likely to be very low and pose no environmental risk,” said the Treasury’s Manager of Commercial Investments, Chris White.

“As a further precaution, separate reports were commissioned from Transpower, the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, and Landcare Research. Every report has confirmed that the risks are negligible and no remedial action is needed.

“There has been no disposal of mercury arc valves in Lake Benmore since 1974 and we are not aware of this happening in any other lake or waterway in New Zealand.”

The Landcare Research report involved catching and testing trout from Lake Benmore to measure mercury concentrations. The mercury levels were 0.162 milligrams per kilogramme (mg/kg) in female fish and 0.153 mg/kg in male fish. These concentrations are well below the conservative safety limit of 0.5 mg/kg prescribed in the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Code.

Environment Canterbury, as the agency responsible for monitoring soil and water quality in the region, has been involved in the Landcare Research study.

Ministry for the Environment Standards Senior Advisor Jonathan Coakley commended the responsible approach taken to risk assessment since the disposal of valves in Lake Benmore came to light.

“The potential risks have been investigated promptly, cautiously and thoroughly. Based on the current findings in the reports, we have confidence that mercury levels in Lake Benmore fish are safe and pose no health risk,” said Mr Coakley.

There will be ongoing periodic tests of mercury concentrations in Lake Benmore trout to ensure mercury levels remain within strict safety limits. These tests will include comparing mercury levels in fish from other lakes in the area.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news