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Firm fined over toxic fish kill in Paeroa

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/02/2017
Chemwash Hamilton Ltd was hit with a $39,000 fine over discharge through the stormwater system to a local stream. © Reuters Chemwash Hamilton Ltd was hit with a $39,000 fine over discharge through the stormwater system to a local stream.

A chemical cleaning company has been hit with a $39,000 fine for a toxic discharge that led to a significant number of fish being killed in Paeroa.

Chemwash Hamilton Ltd was prosecuted by Waikato Regional Council over the discharge through the stormwater system to a local stream.

It was convicted and fined in the Auckland District Court this week.

The council says it was alerted by residents to a large number of distressed and dead eels and native banded kokopu fish in a tributary that flows to the Ohinemuri River.

Staff traced the contamination back to a retirement village where Chemwash had stripped the roof ready for repainting.

Investigations manager Patrick Lynch says the incident last February was completely avoidable.

"A company that deals with acutely toxic chemicals should have had exemplary measures in place to manage the risk to the environment," he said.

Mr Lynch said the council hoped the fine was a reminder to all users that chemicals had to be managed properly.

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