'Encapsulation' for contaminated soil

The developers of the big new Northlake residential subdivision have been granted consent to dig up soil contaminated with timber preservatives from one part of the subdivision and bury it in another part.

The decision, by the Queenstown Lakes District Council, was notified this week and is subject to a number of conditions.

The contaminated soil containing boron, carbendazim, copper, chrome and arsenic is where the former Iron Hill Timber Treatment Plant was once located, at the corner of Aubrey and Outlet Rds. Eleven new residential sections are planned for the land.

Consultants for Northlake Investments Ltd and developer Michaela Meehan took soil samples from 97 locations around the old timber plant site and found all contaminants were below national environmental guidelines, except for arsenic affecting an estimated 2750cu m of soil.

The developers applied for consent to remove up to 6000cu m of contaminated soil and deposit it in a nearby "encapsulation cell'' on a road reserve.

Council consultant environmental scientist Paul Heveldt said the "end land use for the area of encapsulation would avoid any likely exposure to humans''.

He recommended a more detailed contaminated soil management plan be prepared dealing with dust issues, community relations, stormwater, noise, smell and long-term site management.

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