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Regional Council crew cleaning up after tanker crash

Tuesday, 1 April 2014 9:30 a.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Pollution Prevention staff are working on the site where a tanker full of lactose overturned on the lower Kaimais late yesterday afternoon.

The 23,000 litre tanker heading to Hamilton lost part of its load when the edge of the road gave way and it rolled into a drain, trapping the driver in the cab.

Regional Council Pollution Prevention acting team leader John Morris said they had recovered about 6000 litres of lactose, a dairy by-product, and some was still in the vehicle. An estimated 15,000 litres was lost near the Wairoa River. The Fire Service had contained much of the spill with a bund.

“Some lactose has filtered through into the rock pools but the river is not discoloured,” he said.

Lactose alters the oxygen in water and could potentially kill fish and other aquatic life if concentrated.

“This water is fast flowing and it’s not as likely there would be fish killed. Apart from near the rock pools the river is flowing clear from about two metres from the bank.

The tanker was removed last night, and Regional Council staff are working on cleaning up any residue at the site.

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Tanker spill