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Multi-agency response to identify risks from legacy landfills

Risks from existing and legacy landfills will be identified in a multi-agency project led by the Ministry for the Environment and 16 regional councils, in collaboration with Local Government New Zealand and the Department of Conservation.

Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage says “Getting a better picture of the risks associated with current and closed landfills is an issue that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

“The extreme storm event in March which led to the exposure and erosion of a closed Council landfill at Fox River was a wake-up call. It highlighted the importance of knowing where closed landfills are, their vulnerabilities and how to reduce their exposure to natural hazards and potential impacts from a changing climate.”

The Ministry for the Environment is funding the initial phase of this work. Environment and engineering company Tonkin + Taylor have been contracted to start the project in mid-September. They will gather natural hazard and landfill data from councils across New Zealand, and then develop a risk screening and assessment tool which can be used nationally.

“This work will also provide some valuable information to the National Climate Change Risk Assessment. It is undertaking a national overview of the risks New Zealand faces from climate change, with work beginning later this year.”