CentrePort challenged over continuing use of toxic gas as fumigant

Media release from Green Party
CentrePort needs to come clean about the use and release of the toxic gas methyl bromide.

CentrePort has admitted that it is not recapturing all the gas which is used as a fumigant. In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency set a deadline of recapture of all methyl bromide by 2020. This means that all fumigation of goods with methyl bromide will only be carried out in conditions where the gas is captured, so that it cannot contribute to ozone layer depletion, or put the health of workers and the local communities at risk.

“We shouldn’t be releasing toxic gas into the air close to where people live and work,” Green Party spokesperson Steffan Browning said today.

“Methyl bromide is an odourless, colourless, tasteless gas that Wellingtonians will not know is coming when CentrePort allows it to be released. CentrePort needs to be consistent.

“In March 2013 CentrePort said that methyl bromide at its facility would be recaptured by the end of the year, and it achieved that for containers, which is admirable.

“CentrePort must tell the public of Wellington that it really meant it last March when it said it was bringing in recapture, and commit to either discontinuing log fumigations or scaling up its recapture technology. It can be done but the forestry exporters do not have the economic will.

“There is no excuse for New Zealand to be allowing nearly 600,000 kg of ozone depleting methyl bromide gas into the atmosphere or around New Zealand workers and communities as it is a carcinogenic neurotoxin.”

 

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