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Allegations on asbestos handling

Allegations on asbestos handling, testing and transport practices: Completely incorrect, says NZ Transport Agency

The NZ Transport Agency is extremely concerned at incorrect allegations made this morning about its handling and disposal of material alleged to contain traces of asbestos from sites in the central city and from Russley Road/ Memorial Ave.

“The Transport Agency’s contractors are scrupulous in handling waste from all sites to protect people using the state highway system, the people we employ working on or near the material and people living or working near these sites,” says Colin Knaggs, Highway Manager NZ Transport Agency.

“The public’s safety has never been at risk.

“The material transported to the Springs Road/ Halswell Junction Road landfill site from the central city building site has been tested in line with Environment Canterbury requirements.

“Anything with traces of contaminants from that site has been transported to the regional landfill at Kate Valley in North Canterbury in fully-lined and covered trucks.

“Similarly, the Transport Agency is confident that the handling and disposal of material by contractors under its instructions at the Russley Road/ Memorial Ave work site meets all health and safety, environmental, legal and regulatory guidelines of the consents for this project.”

WorkSafe has been fully informed of the processes throughout and all Environment Canterbury requirements fulfilled.

At the Russley Road/ Memorial Ave site extremely low levels of asbestos were found, which was expected given the site’s previous use as a former landfill. This is being transported within the guidelines for safe transport in a covered and contained truck to a legally approved landfill disposal site.

Any trucks leaving the Russley Road/ Memorial Ave site uncovered are bound for the Burwood Resource Recovery Park and are not contaminated.

The surrounding community has been kept informed of work on the Russley Road/ Memorial Ave site. Any material found to contain asbestos on site is kept damp and fully covered until it is removed.

Every truck load of material leaving the Russley Road site for the approved landfill in Otago is in a bin-lined, covered truck, (lined off-site) with accurate identification placards in place stating the contents. This work started four weeks ago and will continue for some time.

ENDS

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