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Toxic site map released today

12 Oct 2000

Toxic site map released today

Greenpeace is to be congratulated for its toxics map web site, released today, which shows more than 40 sites in New Zealand that are contaminated by dioxins, Green MP Sue Kedgley said.

Ms Kedgley is due to view the map on computer at the launch at 1pm on the steps of Parliament today.

"The Greenpeace toxic sites map is a brilliant website," she said, "although the map itself is a horrifying reminder of how much of our 'clean green' land is contaminated with dioxins, pcps and other contaminants." Ms Kedgley said it was extraordinary that a non-governmental organisation such as Greenpeace was having to publish a register, which should be the Government's responsibility. The Government should have its own website and a publicly available register of all the contaminated sites in New Zealand, she said.

It is remarkable that the Ministry for the Environment does not have a public register of toxic sites in New Zealand, or a comprehensive strategy in place to clean up the hundreds of contaminated sites around the country, Ms Kedgley said.

Under present legislation, unless a toxic site was proved to be leaching contaminants into surrounding land, there was no obligation to clean it up.

"As a result, nothing is being done to remediate or clean up hundreds of toxic sites across New Zealand. This is totally unacceptable," Ms Kedgley said.

"While the Government's announcement that it will look at compensating owners of 'orphan sites' is a good first step, it is not clear whether the policy will involve cleaning up those orphan sites.

"An urgent strategy is also needed to require the remainder of the contaminated sites around New Zealand to be cleaned up or remediated," she said

Sue Kedgley MP 025 2709088 Paul Bensemann, press secretary x6679, 021 214 2665

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