In-depth probe to follow diesel spill

Last updated 13:00 21/01/2014

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Estuary polluted by diesel spill

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Further investigation into a diesel spill into the Motueka harbour and estuary was to be carried out today.

Yesterday about 100 litres of diesel originating from Port Motueka entered the immediate port area and through tidal flows into the Motueka estuary, said Tasman District Council spokesman Chris Choat.

Officials were relying on natural forces to disperse the spill and an investigation team was to be at the port this afternoon.

The focus had been on ensuring the leak has been stopped, the immediate effects managed and the dispersal process agreed to. Once the dispersal of the diesel was under control an in-depth investigation would be undertaken, he said.

As diesel was a very light oil it would have covered a large area.

After talks with Maritime New Zealand's oil spill specialists the decision was made to rely on natural dispersion.

While the spill was unlikely to have a long term effect on shellfish and other marine life people were advised not to collect shellfish from the area or fish adjacent to the wharf.

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- The Nelson Mail

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