A celebration to recognize the end of dredging for the Kopeopeo Canal Remediation Project was held yesterday as part of the final Community Liaison Group meeting.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair Doug Leeder explained that the project had successfully completed the removal and storage of around 35,000m³ of sediment into two containment sites.
“This is one of the largest decontamination projects anywhere in New Zealand and to have successfully completed this stage is a significant recognition of the work of many parties – the Council and our project team, the community groups, the contractors and the co-funders, the Ministry for the Environment. It is an excellent outcome for all concerned,” Mr Leeder said.
The Chair of the Community Liaison Group (CLG) John Pullar had high praise for the work of the group and the commitment and knowledge of the groups represented around the table.
“This project has been a long journey for all of us. The CLG has given up so much time and energy to making this project a success and I cannot thank everyone enough for that work. I have spoken at length to the project team, they have said unreservedly that this project couldn’t have got to this point without the support of this group,” commented Chair of the Community Liaison Group (CLG) John Pullar.
Project Manager, Brendon Love acknowledged the contractor, EnviroWaste and their subcontractors. “The contractors, in particular Des McCleary from EnviroWaste who has led the team over here for many years, have worked hard to get to this point and we’d like to acknowledge their contribution as well,” Mr Love said.
While the dredging phase has been completed and validation sampling confirmed the canal has been cleaned out, topsoil capping of the containment cells still needs to be completed and work started on the bioremediation phase.
Once this has been done at the Keepa Road site, safe vehicle access will be created through the site to the canal and Whakatāne River towards the end of the calendar year. Public will not be permitted on to containment cells themselves as bioremediation will continue inside the storage bags for a number of years.
During this time the project team will continue to monitor dioxin levels in the containment cells and canal aquatic life.