Chemical News

Monday, September 24, 2007

Toxic Waste Under your Building - Who Knows???

A Waikato company has been found guilty in Auckland District Court of burying illegal toxic chemicals under a building being constructed on its property.

It is the company's fourth conviction for environmental offences.

The Wallace Corporation, a Waitoa-based rendering plant, buried old electrical capacitors which were known to contain polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

The chemicals, which are implicated in causing cancer, cannot be legally disposed of in New Zealand, and must be sent overseas.

Environment Waikato complaints and enforcement manager Rob Dragten says the council is appalled by the company's behaviour and plans to keep a close watch on the company and to ensure the chemicals are cleaned up.

Mr Dragten says the company was fined about $3 million for the latest conviction and he hopes that will be enough to stop it from offending again.

The Wallace Corporation may appeal against the ruling, saying it has excavated under the building where a contractor admitted burying the capacitors, and it has not found any contamination.