Court case reveals diesel spill cleanup costs

By Wayne Thompson

A diesel spill which closed the Warkworth water treatment plant for 17 days has cost two companies more than $500,000 between them.

The costs of trucking in water to households and cleaning up the spill in the Mahurangi River were revealed when two companies faced charges in the Auckland District Court under the Resource Management Act.

Gubbs Motors and Kauriland Marine Stops pleaded guilty to one charge each of discharging onto land from a diesel tank and bowser at Gubbs' bus depot.

Kauriland owns the installation which serves the Gubbs bus fleet.

The Auckland Regional Council, which brought the charges, estimated that on the night of August 7 last year, 18,500 litres of diesel escaped from the installation and entered a stream and then the river, which flows through Warkworth, and the upper reaches of the Mahurangi Harbour.

Rodney District Council incurred costs of $346,000 in cleaning, testing and supplying tanker water. The defendants have paid reparation to the district council for most of its costs and Gubbs also paid $260,000 to ensure a proper and speedy cleanup.

- NZ Herald

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