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How we manage pollution

http://m.gw.govt.nz/how-we-manage-pollution

How we manage pollution

Updated 11 July 2019 12:16pm

Investigating environmental incidents

We want to know about all environmental incidents that cause environmental harm to land, water, air and the coastal marine area. In particular: 

  • Water pollution: discharges to streams, rivers, lakes, aquifers and the coastal marine area
  • Land pollution: dumping and spills that contaminate land
  • Air pollution: dust, odours and smoke from outdoor fires where hazardous materials like plastic, treated timber and metal are being burned
  • Taking water: from groundwater (boreholes), surface water and draining wetlands
  • River works: channel or river mouth cutting, removing vegetation, diversions, excavations, gravel extractions, deposition and disturbance
  • Earthworks: large scale vegetation clearance, earth moving, tracking, cutting and filling
  • Buildings and structures in waterways and the coastal marine area: construction, demolition and maintenance
  • Noise from the coastal marine area from boats and shipping
  • Animals in rivers, streams or the coastal marine area: discharges, disturbance, carcasses
  • Hazardous substances: discharges into water or onto land

How we respond

We aim to respond to environmental incidents as quickly as possible. Our response is based on the information provided and will depend on the type and severity of the incident. Where appropriate, we carry out site investigations and if breaches are found, we can take enforcement action.

Read more about our enforcement process.

Who we work with

We work with other councils, emergency services and government agencies to plan for and deliver environmental management. Each of these organisations covers different areas and different types of pollution, and there are a number of overlapping jurisdictions.

Some examples include:

  • Our Harbours department specialises in marine oil spills
  • Wellington City Council manages litter in the city
  • Regional Public Health has a responsibility for health in the community and the effects of pollutants or pathogens
  • The Environmental Protection Agency regulates hazardous substances