“..Exide Technologies faces a maximum $200,000 fine – or officials could be jailed –
- with its Petone battery recycling plant being prosecuted in the Environment Court for discharging lead dust.
Greater Wellington regional council has confirmed it will prosecute the company after confirmation that the discharge breached the plant’s resource consent conditions.
Council officials say the decision reflects community concern surrounding the smelter’s operations..
..because of potential long-term health issues from escaping lead particles.
The case also underlined the seriousness of the breach..and the importance of managing the effects of Exide’s operations through court-imposed conditions.
Exide says it regrets the breach – a spike during maintenance in March that pushed average lead emissions at one plant boundary over a three-month limit for the first time.
The company is promising to “fully comply with all associated rulings”.
However, both Exide and the council deny the discharge put residents’ health at risk, citing Regional Public Health findings that long-term adverse health effects were “unlikely to be significant”.
Discharge limits were placed on the plant last year after health officials found long-term exposure to Exide lead threatened the health of young children and pregnant women.
Exide was also ordered to undertake significant plant upgrades..but was fined $1000 and served with an abatement notice last October when it failed to meet a deadline.
It also created controversy by storing thousands of tonnes of chemical battery waste around Seaview.
The backlog is now being trucked to landfills in Silverstream and Auckland..”
(they were fined $1,000..(!)..
..not much ‘deterrent/incentive to change their ‘poisoning/polluting ways there..!..eh..?..)
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Council to prosecute Exide over leak – New Zealand news on Stuff.co.nz