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Forest and Bird settles Mapua appeal

November 24, 2003 – Wellington
MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Forest and Bird settles Mapua appeal.

Nelson people can look forward to a safer clean-up of the country’s most toxic site, Forest and Bird Conservation Manager, Kevin Hackwell, said today.

Forest and Bird today announced that the Environment Court had signed off the agreement over its appeal of the resource consents for the clean-up of the contaminated ex-chemical manufacturing site at Mapua.

“Agreement with the company doing the clean-up was reached last week, just three weeks from the date the appeal was lodged. The new consent conditions were then presented to the Environment Court, which signed them off on Friday.”

“The consent conditions have been improved considerably and the Mapua clean-up can now proceed on a safer basis as a result.”

The key improvements to the resource consents’ conditions are:

- The introduction of soil acceptance criteria. This means that the soil left at Mapua after the clean-up must be processed to an acceptable environmental standard. The consents did not previously list the specific soil acceptance criteria.
- Monitoring requirements have been strengthened. This means that problems are more likely to be detected and fixed.
- Clearer minimum standards for discharges. This will help ensure that people and the environment are kept safe through the process of cleaning up the site.
- A bond ensuring compliance with the resource consents’ obligations will apply to all of the consents.
- Clearer role for the peer review panel and the inclusion of an ecological expert on the panel. This means that oversight of the clean-up has been significantly improved, particularly in the review of management plans and the performance of the consent holder.
- Management plan criteria have been added to the conditions of each consent. This will provide clear guidance on matters that must be addressed in the management plans.

“Forest and Bird hopes that Nelson and Mapua people will see that the conditions applying to the clean-up have been strengthened through improvements to the legal consents. This is a dangerous site and it is critical that the work is done properly,” he said.

“Everyone involved with the project has been aware of the problems with the consents. We all want the clean-up to be a success. Forest and Bird has appreciated the cooperative approach of the consent holder and the Council to resolving these issues,” Mr. Hackwell said.

Contact: Kevin Hackwell, Conservation Manager Tel. 04 385 7374, 025 227 8420

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