Northland Regional Council: Pipeline rupture update #02

Direct News Source

19-Sep-2017 Northland Regional Council position 0900hrs Tues 19 Sept

  • Containment and recovery continues to be led by Refining NZ (usual practise for companies involved in fuel spills)
  • Regional council continues to monitor the recovery and clean-up operation to ensure it is being carried out appropriately and a suitable remediation plan is implemented
  • Council staff have been carrying out daily checks on the clean-up operation since the spill was discovered last Thursday (14/09), including supervising refinery sampling
  • Council's Compliance Monitoring Manager inspected the site yesterday (18/09) and is satisfied the clean-up/repair operation is being carried out appropriately in the circumstances
  • At this stage, council, is not aware of any significant environmental damage, despite the large volumes of fuel reported spilled, yesterday (18/09) estimated by the refinery at up 80,000 litres. This is because of the prompt response, containment and recovery measures
  • The land-based location of the incident - on farmland close to the refinery - also makes the clean-up/recovery operation more straightforward.
  • Council will today (19/09) be sampling up to six private groundwater bores in the vicinity, but is confident these will not have been impacted given the prompt nature of the containment, recovery and clean-up
  • A large volume of contaminated groundwater continues to tankered back to the refinery for product recovery/disposal as required. Contaminated soil will also be removed from the site and initially stored at the refinery, prior to final disposal at an approved landfill
  • As with any spill, the regional council is investigating the circumstances leading up to it and will consider what, if any, further action is appropriate in due course. (This could include formal enforcement action.)
  • However, the council stresses any such action is currently secondary to its primary focus; ensuring the appropriate recovery of the spilled fuel and clean-up of the site
  • Questions about the status of any repairs to the pipeline any issues with supply of jet fuel etc to refinery customers are matters for the refining company, not the regional council
  • Council will continue to monitor the pipe repair and clean-up operation, which the refinery expects to continue for some time.