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Government grants $6.6 million to clean up old landfill sites – Penny Simmonds

The Government has granted $6.6 million to clean up four historic New Zealand landfill and dump sites vulnerable to extreme weather events and coastal erosion.

At the BlueGreens Forum in Paihia today Environment Minister Penny Simmonds said that the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund grants will go towards fixing former landfills and dump sites in Tairāwhiti, Southland, Canterbury and Nelson.

“These sites are in low-lying coastal areas and near river margins, leaving them at risk of being compromised by storm surges, rainfall events, high river levels and flooding.

“This funding will address the risk of the sites being breached by a natural event, exposing waste material and contaminating the surrounding land and waterways.”

Penny Simmonds said historic landfills can become a threat to communities and the environment through the effects of climate change and extreme weather events.

“The Government supports local government to deal with the legacy of land contaminated by past practices, directing funds each year to sites considered regional priorities,” Penny Simmonds said.

“This funding will help restore these contaminated sites so they no longer pose a risk to communities and the environment.”

Penny Simmonds said the Ministry for the Environment is working with regional councils to assess historic landfills.

The Ministry for the Environment provided funding to councils to develop a tool to evaluate climate change risks for landfills and contaminated sites in 2019.

“The Ministry is now working with regional councils to refine the tool and use it to evaluate landfills that have not yet been assessed.

“These assessments will help councils make decisions on how to manage the risks associated with vulnerable landfills and contaminated sites, such as reducing the level of contamination, better containing the sites, or removing the contents of landfills.”


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