Blog Archives

100 cows killed after contracting lead poisoning on gun club land

By Kirsty Macnicol of the Fiordland Advocate

cowlandAbout 100 Southland dairy cows have died or been destroyed after contracting lead poisoning from grazing on a gun club property.

The Ministry of Primary Industries confirmed this week it was alerted by a Southland veterinary practice on July 23 of dairy cattle dying from lead poisoning on a Southland farm. The cattle had been grazing fodder beet grown on leased land owned by the Nightcaps Clay Target Club at Wreys Bush.

“Approximately 20 affected cattle, from a mob of about 100 cows, died or were euthanised at that time, the farmer subsequently chose to humanely slaughter the remaining cattle. Some of the cattle were pregnant,” MPI said in a statement issued to the Fiordland Advocate.

Environment Southland worked with the MPI and the farmer to offer advice on various disposal methods for the cows.

“The decision by the owner to bury them in an offal hole was not Environment Southland’s preferred choice, however, at the time it did meet the rules under the Solid Waste Management Plan as a permitted activity. New rules that came into effect on1 September 2014 would have tightened the requirements in this situation. Staff provided best practice advice for the disposal,” the statement says. Read more

Toxic soil found next to Providence park

By,  Walt Buteau, http://www.wpri.com/

Photo via EPA.gov

Photo via EPA.gov

The Department of Environmental Management ordered a Providence LLC to remove soil from land next to a park on Valley Street after a DEM inspection found the soil ‘contains hazardous substances’ including lead and arsenic.

Documents show the soil was hauled from a piece of property that was purchased with a $620,000 taxpayer funded loan from the embattled Providence Economic Development Partnership.

In the letter, the company was told the contaminated soil “shall be taken offsite for disposal at a facility that is licensed to receive contaminated soil”.

In December, an eyewitness who asked to remain anonymous, told Target 12 he saw “6 hours of digging” at the Valley Street location on November 27. He reported seeing dozens of loads of soil hauled away and dumped in the wooded area that abuts Donigian Park and playground. That wooded area is part of the 5 acre 100 Amherst Street lot.

The DEM confirmed last December that the agency was investigating a complaint that soil was removed from  181 Valley Street. A clean up plan for the property indicates the soil contains “arsenic, lead, poly-nuclear aromatic hydrocarbon and total petroleum hydrocarbons”. Read More