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A settlement conference regarding the removal of ouvea premix resumed yesterday, with a view to finalising solutions.
About 8500 tonnes of premix is stored in a building at the old Mataura paper mill, owned by Southland Storage Ltd, on the banks of the Mataura River.
The premix can produce poisonous ammonia gas if it comes into contact with water.
Environment Court judge Laurie Newhook said parties were strongly engaged in speeding up the process of removal of ouvea premix from the Mataura building.
Under the present agreement, it would be gone by 2022.
In a statement released yesterday, Judge Newhook said new sites had been identified away from Mataura and other residential areas.
Commercial, central government and local government parties were involved in the logistical and contractual details.
‘‘Given the number of parties involved and the complexities of the material and the hoped-for operations, a little time is needed to bring these things together.’’
Mediation began earlier in the month between the Environmental Defence Society and New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS).
The society filed declaration proceedings against NZAS in July.
Interested parties include the Minister for the Environment, the Gore District Council, Southland Storage Ltd and the Southland Regional Council.
Two further conferences have been set down for October 9 and 14.