'Direct' pollution reports preferred over new app

SUE O'DOWD
Last updated 11:28 15/08/2014

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Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) is shying away from endorsing use of a phone app encouraging people to report incidents of water pollution.

The Thundermaps app is promoted by the Morgan Foundation as part of its myriver.org.nz online initiative.

TRC director of resource management Fred McLay said as a matter of prudence the council had subscribed to the website for notification of pollution reports in Taranaki.

However, the council preferred to receive pollution reports directly because that ensured a timely and professional investigation, appropriate mitigation and potential enforcement action.

He said the Taranaki community had a long history of reporting pollution incidents directly to the council via its 24/7 environmental hotline, 0800 736 222.

In 2013-2014, 781 environmental incidents were registered and investigated by council officers, up from 631 the previous year.

Four per cent of the 2013-14 incidents related to the marine environment, 48 per cent to freshwater quality, 42 per cent to air quality and 6 per cent to soil.

Thundermaps spokesman Clint Van Marrewijk said Tasman District Council, Department of Conservation, and the Waikato, Northland and Taranaki regional councils had signed up to the app for free alerts of pollution incidents.

The software allowed those farmers and businesses that followed the rules to put pressure on those who damaged their industry's reputation, he said.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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