Prior to reporting the tallow spill into the Tyne Street Drain and Ahuriri Estuary yesterday, staff from two local businesses took it upon themselves to close the Tyne Street drain pollution prevention gates to minimise and stem the flow of tallow from the drain into the Ahuriri Estuary.
Staff from Lowe Corp and Classic Sheepskins - on discovering the discharge that they had no part in causing - immediately took preventative action to minimise the harm to the environment.
HBRC Resource Use Manager, Wayne Wright says, “ The staff of these two companies are to be applauded for taking decisive action to minimise the harm this spill may have caused. This is a positive indication of the commitment people have to protect our environment, and so pleasing that the people concerned were prepared to take time away from their own business operations to help Regional and Napier City Council staff.”
Reports on social media alerted HBRC to the incident, rather than the incident being reported via the 24 hour pollution hotline.
“The discharge had been noticed several hours earlier by members of the public with photographs and comments posted on social media, however the Regional Council was not contacted directly,” Wright says.
“We encourage everyone, when seeing something of concern, to phone the Pollution Hotline on 0800 108838. HBRC pollution response staff will attend immediately.”
“It is better to be safe than sorry and there’s no such thing as a bad call. We would rather be told and have us make an assessment rather than not have it reported,” adds Mr Wright.
Investigation is continuing into the cause of the spill and it appears it may have resulted from a faulty connection between the trade-waste and stormwater connections at a local tallow plant.
Both HBRC and Napier City Council are working to confirm the cause and take appropriate action to prevent such situation happening again.
21 November 2017
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