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Rena anniversary marked by Regional Council

Friday, 5 October 2012 12:00 p.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has marked the anniversary of the Rena grounding by acknowledging the efforts of everyone involved in the response.

When the Rena hit Astrolabe Reef on 5 October 2011 many Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff were immediately involved due to the council's role in regional oil spill response.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman John Cronin said while today there are fewer staff involved, the regional council still has a long-term role in many aspects of the Rena response and in the recovery programme.

"From our Harbour Master duties, oil spill operations, environmental monitoring and support of the Long-Term Environmental Recovery Plan, it continues to be an important part of our work," Mr Cronin said.

"As well as the commitment by staff, it's been an incredible year in seeing how the community pulled together when required, as they volunteered to help with the clean-up."

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has taken on the responsibility of on-going monitoring and future clean-up for any further oil spilled from the wreck, with staff continuing to monitor the situation.

"The Regional Council also continues to work with wreck removal and debris recovery contractors to ensure the risk of further oil spills is managed. Resolve Salvage and Fire has an oil spill contingency plan in place and have response equipment and trained staff at the wreck site. Braemar Howells has oil spill response equipment on their vessel patrolling the 2 mile exclusion zone."

The Council continues to support the Long-Term Environmental Recovery Plan, and studies will assess the impacts on the environment. Sampling programmes will be running over the summer period to better understand the presence of oil, and the impact it has had on marine species. The first update from the winter sampling period is expected next week.

Ends

Rena grounded on Astrolabe Reef