Landfill report out today

EMMA GOODWIN
Last updated 12:00 08/05/2012

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Horizons regional councillors will get an update today on whether toxic substances have been leaking into the Manawatu River from Palmerston North's old dump.

At a meeting in October last year, councillors requested further information about leachate concerning the unlined Awapuni landfill. They were told by Horizons science manager Jon Roygard that while there was a lot of data available, it was in a "relatively raw" format.

An independent groundwater scientist and a landfill specialist were contracted to compile the information into a report, which is expected to contain information about what was in the landfill, when material was dumped there, the landfill design and the leachate collection, treatment and discharge system.

It's also expected there will be information on where any leachate goes and what effects it is having or could have on the surrounding environment.

In 2007, the Palmerston North City Council was fined $750 for spilling landfill leachates into a drain leading to the Manawatu River.

Horizons compliance staff carrying out a routine check of the Awapuni landfill discovered a pipe discharging the contaminants directly into a drain.

Environmentalists have said leachate from the landfill contains coal tar and other hazardous substances.

However no coal tar has been found in any leachate monitoring reports to date.

Leading accuser Bert Judd told the Manawatu Standard there were all sorts of chemicals in the landfill.

"There was an amnesty for farmers to get rid of their chemicals and the city council came and got it and took it away to the landfill. Tonnes of stuff went in that landfill."

The report is expected to contain any recommended changes to the newly implemented weekly monitoring programme upstream and downstream of the city council sewage treatment plant, and information around the effects and management of the landfill.

The report, to be presented by Dr Roygard, was originally expected to be discussed in February.

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- Manawatu Standard

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