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Archive for July 31st, 2009

Pollution? What Pollution?

Posted by te2ataria on July 31, 2009

How could our beaches and harbors be polluted, when they’re brimming with anti-fouling chemicals?

If you thought New Zealand Coastal waters are among the dirtiest in the world, brimming with farm runoffs, toxic chemicals, industrial and household waste, raw sewage…, you’d be right!

Harbour a ‘chemical cocktail’

By BLAIRE ENSOR – The Marlborough Express

Last updated 13:00 31/07/2009

A corner of Picton Harbour contains some of the highest levels of anti-fouling chemical pollutants recorded in New Zealand, a council report released today states.

The 2008 Marlborough District Council State of the Environment Report says 3100 square metres of the sea bed in Picton Harbour has some of the highest levels of copper, mercury and tributyltin in the country.

Products used to combat fouling on the hulls of ships are to blame, the report says.

Some of the contamination will be removed when the sea bottom is dredged to make room for foundations in the redevelopment of the Picton waterfront, and the remainder is expected to dissipate naturally.

Marlborough District Council environmental scientist Colin Gray said health risks of the contaminants to humans had not been considered because it was an operational port.

“It’s not an area where the public are going to swim in and collect shellfish.”

cyanobacteria in NZ lakes
State of New Zealand lakes. NZ govt photo.

The problem was identified in a 2003 council survey as part of evaluations of the distribution of antifouling chemicals and sediments in harbours around New Zealand.

The report said the area affected was adjacent to the old Carey’s boatyard site, but the boatyard had been removed so continued fouling was no longer an issue. Monitoring is being carried out to assess how best to clean up the mess.

However, the boatyard’s Ailsa Carey said at a hearing for the Picton foreshore redevelopment plans last month that the Cawthron Institute report, which blamed Carey’s boat yard for the pollution, was unfair.

As well as Carey’s, there had been at least four other boat building and engineering businesses in the immediate area and all would have contributed to the contamination, Ms Carey said.

The boatyard had not always belonged to Carey’s and was even owned by the harbour board for some time, she said.

Marlborough District Council executive projects manager Jamie Lyall told Ms Carey the redevelopment file would be changed to “set the record straight”.

Mr Lyall said a study by the Cawthron Institute showed the contaminant was in the top 150mm of the sea bed. As part of the redevelopment of the Picton waterfront about 12 cubic metres of the contaminants would be removed by dredging, he said.

The dredged material would be tested onsite to check its risk before it could be accepted by the land fill in Blenheim.

Mr Lyall said the contaminated area that remained would continue to be monitored, but studies had shown it was likely to dissipate naturally.

A council spokeswoman said it was necessary to obtain a resource consent to discharge antifouling chemicals, and chemicals used by operators had changed in recent years.

The state of the environment report also showed that cases of illegal dumping in Marlborough have spiked.

Illegal dumping of rubbish increased from 119 instances for the year ended June 2006, to 188 for the year ended June 2008.

Litter infringement notices increased from 60 to 68 over the same period.

Reserves ranger and litter control officer Kevin Hawkins said instances of littering to June 2009 had decreased slightly to 181 with only 40 infringement notices handed down.

He attributed the small decrease to increased frequency of patrols and an increase in the maximum fine from $100 to $400 at the beginning of 2008 which may have deterred people from dumping rubbish.

“If we don’t have a more responsible attitude our reserves will turn into rubbish dumps,” he said.

Mr Hawkins also pointed out a sharp increase in the illegal dumping of garden waste: 101 instances in June 2008 to 315 in June 2009.

“It’s unsightly, people need to dispose of it in a lawful manner.”

Mr Hawkins said council patrols did not just operate during the daylight hours.

“We operate in hours of darkness,” which was a time people like to dispose of rubbish and garden waste.

He appreciated the co-operation from the public reporting offending vehicles.

“The police can’t operate without public support and neither can we. I’m happy to take calls 24/7.”  © 2009 Fairfax New Zealand Limited

A study of New Zealand’s most popular swimming spots has found that a third of them are unsafe because high levels of sewage and dairy effluent at beaches and in rivers are making swimmers sick. Pollution study lifts lid on New Zealand’s ‘green’ beaches

New Zealand industrial farming produces at least 5 times as much effluents than the land can absorb!

New Zealand is the size of Colorado yet it hosts up to 94 million farm animals (livestock excluding poultry), which discharge an estimated 300 million tons of effluent to the environment each year. New Zealand’s intensive animal industries produce about 4 times more manure than they could safely use as fertilizer. [The leftover is discharged or washed off into NZ coastal waters.]

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Posted in farm runoffs, household waste, industrial waste, mercury contamination, raw sewage, toxic chemicals, tributyltin | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Murder Case Gone Cold?

Posted by te2ataria on July 31, 2009

sent by Aussie Ace01

Unsolved Murder, Missing Case?

Look for the kiwi connection and you’ll probably find your murderer!

Aussie police want to talk to a New Zealander in connection with a barman who went missing on his 21st birthday 30 years ago.

Just hours before his party, Marcus Wayne Allcornan, an assistant manager at The Imperial Hotel, who was also studying hospitality, went missing.  He has not been seen for almost 30 years.

Marcus Allcorn
Marcus Wayne Allcorn was last seen around 1am on January 29, 1980, when he finished a night shift at the Imperial Hotel on Oxford Street in Paddington, Sydney, Australia, the ABC reported.

Karol Blackley of Sydney police said they now want to talk to a New Zealander, John Brown, who was also working at the hotel bar 30 years ago.

“We believe he moved on to other hotels working,” she said. “Obviously, the name, John Brown, is fairly common and at the time it was difficult to track down Mr Brown.”

“We are seeking again to locate Mr Brown and allow him to give some evidence about the background of Marcus … and the circumstances at the time.”

Police have appealed for John Brown to come forward. They said Mr Brown was not a suspect, however, he was someone who had valuable information

‘‘At the time [of Mr Allcorn’s disappearance] it was difficult to track down Mr Brown … he’s a witness we haven’t had an opportunity to speak to in 30 years.

‘‘He may have missed prior media releases and we are seeking again to locate Mr Brown and allow him to give some evidence about the background of Marcus … and the circumstances at the time.’’

Officers who suspect Mr Allcorn was a victim of foul play have returned to the bar to use technology that was not available at the time of the disappearance to look for traces of blood.

“Police believe he met foul play, and today asked for Mr Brown to come forward and help them solve the case, to provide closure to Mr Allcorn’s family who they say are ‘’living in darkness’’.

“This week, police used modern forensic technology at The Imperial – where Mr Allcorn lived and worked – to shed light on his last movements.” ABC reported.

Police is applying Luminol examination, forensic technology unavailable in 1980s when Mr Allcorn went missing, ABC said.

‘‘We used Luminol examination, which can be used in identifying where DNA and blood might be located,’’ Detective Sergeant Blackley said.

However, she did not say if traces of Mr Allcorn’s blood had been found during the examination.

“Police also made a 3D video recording of the hotel layout using its Interactive Scene Recording and Presentation System (ISRAPS) to help an investigation for the coroner.” ABC said.

‘‘The evidence is in a visual format that can be presented to the Coroner’s Court.

‘‘It also allows witnesses at the Coroner’s Court to go to areas within the hotel captured on the footage and describe in more intricate detail where they were or how things were.’’

The case was reportedly reopened in 2007, when police formed Strike Force Christine to investigate the missing.

“He was a happy go-lucky young man, with everything to live for,” Ms Blackley said.

“He expressed no unhappiness at all and just disappeared without a trace.”

“About 11,000 people are missing reported each year in NSW, but 95 per cent of those people were found within a week, police said.”

“Cases unsolved for as many years as Mr Allcorn’s represented only 2 per cent of cases, police said.” ABC reported.

Note: Comare the above statistics with the number of people missing in New Zealand, bearing in mind the difference in the size and population of the two countries.

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Posted in forensic technology, ISRAPS, john brown, Luminol examination, missing in New Zealand, Strike Force Christine, The Imperial Hotel, victim of foul play | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »