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Council responds to tanker spill

Wednesday, 11 May 2011 12:35 p.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is working to minimise the risk to the environment after a tanker rolled yesterday on Te Puna Station Road west of Tauranga, causing sludge oil to spill into a nearby drain.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Group Manager, Water Management Eddie Grogan said council staff responded quickly to the spill which meant no sludge oil got to the Wairoa River or Tauranga Harbour.

"An earth bund was quickly built to contain the spill within a short section of the drain, booms were deployed and absorbent granules were placed onto the road," he said.

"We understand a 55 metre stretch of the drain has been affected by the spill and work is being carried out to extract the sludge oil and contaminated soil and vegetation."

"The company involved has three sucker trucks working at once to remove the sludge oil."

"There is also a digger on site scraping the bank, clearing any remnants," Mr Grogan said. 

"Once the bulk of the sludge oil has been removed we will attempt to lower the water level of the drain to scrape away the final remains of the spill, while also keeping a close eye on the rain which could slow down on our clean-up efforts."  

Mr Grogan said it is believed several thousand of litres were spilt.

"Council staff continue to be on site and investigations into this incident will be on-going," he said.

Te Puna Station Road is closed at the west end while the trucks work to remove the spill. People are advised to use an alternate route.

Ends.

For further media information please contact Prue Sisam, Senior Communications Advisor, on 0800 884 881 9155 or 021 929 349 or Clare Dowthwaite, Communications Advisor, on 0800 884 881 ext 8148 or 021 989 666.

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