1 Aug 2009

All-clear for Mapua site welcomed

10:56 pm on 1 August 2009

An all-clear for a former toxic site near Nelson has been welcomed by residents, although some are still concerned about chemical residues.

An audit report has cleared the Mapua site of the former Fruitgrowers Chemical Company for development after a controversial clean-up lasting three years.

A condition of the approval for development is that there be soil and groundwater monitoring.

The Environment Minister Nick Smith reassured residents that the site now poses no health risks.

Dr Smith says the Mapua clean-up has provided valuable lessons on how to deal with other toxic sites around the country.

Residents at a public meeting on Friday night had a mixed response.

Annette Walker, who lives near the site, is not completely reassured by the report.

She says huge piles of dug-up soil - up to 4m high - will make it very difficult to plan a waterfront park on the site.

Ms Walker says Mapua residents are keenly awaiting a health report on impacts of the clean-up.

Tasman District Council says development could be underway within two years, with 60% of the site to be sold for residential and commercial use.