NovaChem > Industry News > 2020 > Old images reveal potential chemical sites

Old images reveal potential chemical sites

Published on 31/01/2020

The research involved reviewing historical aerial imagery to identify areas where hazardous activities and industries (HAIL) have taken place.  This means it is possible hazardous substances were used, disposed of, or stored on that land.

Regional councils throughout New Zealand are responsible for keeping records for these sites, and land use research for Christchurch, Selwyn, Waimakariri and Timaru areas has been completed in previous years. The latest research, which focussed on the Hurunui and Kaikoura districts, found about 800 sites that had not been previously recorded. Of these, around 500 are old sheep dips or spray race operations, around 200 are horticultural sites where sprays may have been used, and around 60 are infilled pits.

“People have a right to know what their land has been used for in the past. It’s our job to keep records and let the landowner know,” said Graham Aveyard, Environment Canterbury’s science team leader for contaminated land. “In many cases, the soil will be fine. Just because someone’s land has been an orchard, for instance, does not necessarily mean hazardous substances were used or buried there, just that they could have been. “Most people will not need to do anything. It’s only in some future circumstances, like when undertaking major earthworks or subdividing, that property owners may need to take action.”

Many of the urban sites in these districts had already been identified. The new information mostly relates to rural-based activities best-seen from the air, such as sheep dips, farm rubbish pits and horticultural land uses. Environment Canterbury has contacted landowners to let them know about sites found on their property.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with stylesheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. The latest version of Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer will work best if you're after a new browser.