Govt launches multi-agency response to identify landfill risks

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 11 September 2019, 2:48PM
Department of Conservation workers clean up after the Fox River landfill event. (Photo / DOC)

A plan to avoid massive landfill disasters, and subsequent environmental catastrophes. 

The Associate Environment Minister has announced a multi-agency response to identify risks from legacy landfills. 

Eugenie Sage says March's extreme storm and erosion of the old Fox River landfill on the West Coast was a wake-up call. 

She says central government and 16 regional councils will work together to address which current and closed landfills are at risk. 

She told Mike Hosking regional councils have lists of hazardous and contaminated sites.

However, she says we don't know the extent of the risks of closed landfills.

"What's in them, how much they are vulnerable to rising seas or on riverbanks and are vulnerable to storm events, so that's what this project aims to establish." 

Sage says the Environment Ministry is funding the initial work phase, with Tonkin and Taylor set to start gathering natural hazard and landfill data from councils.

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