Flooding exposes old landfill in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

The entrance to Aoraki/Mt Cook Village is not far from where a flooded Hooker River has exposed an old landfill in the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park that has been covered up for about 36 years.


The doorway to Aoraki/Mt Prepare dinner Village isn’t removed from the place a flooded Hooker River has uncovered an previous landfill within the Aoraki/Mt Prepare dinner Nationwide Park that has been lined up for about 36 years.

An previous landfill within the Aoraki/Mt Prepare dinner Nationwide Park uncovered by floodwaters in 2020 remains to be awaiting a long-term plan and remediation of the positioning 20 months later.

The landfill, about 2 kilometres from the Aoraki/Mt Prepare dinner Village, is believed to have been in use from about 1960 to 1986 however the Division of Conservation (DOC) is uncertain what sort of waste was buried there.

Information of the landfill’s breach was tabled on the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board assembly in Christchurch on Wednesday with a report from DOC’s jap South Island director of operations saying it was on the southern aspect of the river on the east aspect of the Tasman Valley Rd bridge.

“The precedence is to make sure there’s momentary erosion safety and a website investigation, which is able to embrace soil and water samples,” Jo Macpherson stated.

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“This can give us a sign of the choices that we now have for the positioning and assist us to make future administration selections.”

Phil Goulter, DOC’s contaminated websites programme supervisor, stated on Friday that DOC turned conscious of the uncovered landfill in October 2020.

“Within the time since, the division has fashioned a programme group with focused funding to handle tasks similar to these,” Goulter stated.

“When storm harm in February 2022 additional uncovered the contents of the landfill we elevated the precedence of the positioning, and funding was allotted to finish investigation works and improvement of an interim website administration plan.”

DOC challenge supervisor Jess Curtis stated that they don’t have a whole image of the scale or sort of waste within the landfill at this stage.

“We can not say what impression the positioning could also be having on the atmosphere till we get extra info by the positioning investigation.

“Nonetheless, the potential for waste or contaminants to enter the river is clearly a priority and we’re working to mitigate this.”

Curtis stated DOC motion to this point has included guaranteeing employees have periodically been securing any free materials on the website.

“Because the landfill was uncovered, DOC has developed an interim plan to handle the positioning within the quick time period which is able to embrace set up of abrasion markers, cleansing up uncovered waste, and month-to-month website monitoring.

“We’re working with a contractor to develop the design for momentary erosion safety. That is being progressed as shortly as attainable so work on the bottom can start.

“As soon as momentary measures are in place and the positioning is secured, we’ll develop a plan for long-term administration and remediation on the website.”

Goulter stated no less than two different landfills within the Aoraki/Mount Prepare dinner Nationwide Park have been being reviewed.

“They don’t seem to be eroding and are additional manner from the river so are usually not thought to pose a right away danger.

“Extra detailed info will probably be out there as soon as the preliminary critiques are accomplished.”

Closed landfills are usually not a brand new downside in South Canterbury with the Timaru District Council revealing in November 2020 that it has 36 of them below its jurisdiction together with one at Peel Forest that closed in 2004 and was uncovered by Rangitata River floodwaters in December 2019. The council borrowed $500,000 on the time for pressing work to comprise that erosion-threatened landfill.

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