23 July 2014
EPA Questions For Chatham Rise Phospate Mining Raise Alarm Bells For Marine Environment
Alarm bells should be ringing in light of the hard questions asked by Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) of
Chatham Rock Phosphate’s mining application.
“EPA is rightly asking the hard questions of CRP, showing that CRPs application is so loose that it puts the marine
environment, and consequently the health of New Zealand fisheries, at huge risk,” says George Clement, chief executive
of the Deepwater Group.
The EPA has raised the issue of Chatham Rise seabed sediments containing a ‘range of trace elements including heavy
metals and radioactive elements’ like uranium, strontium and caesium and their potential impact on water quality, in an
extensive letter that questions a number of aspects of the application.
“The EPA’s decision to seek independent advice from radiation experts in regards to the elevated levels of radioactive
minerals like uranium, and their impact on human health and marine organisms, highlights the seriousness of this issue,
which seems to have been ignored by CRP,” says Mr Clement.
EPA’s questions also cover the lack of information around the impacts of dredging on the environment, the limitations
and validity of CRP’s modelling to identify areas of high biodiversity, and seeking from CRP full details of their
research which underpins their conclusion that phosphate mining would have ‘little or no impact on commercial fishing.”
Deepwater fishing interests have opposed mining the Chatham Rise stating that the widespread habitat destruction will
put the health and quality of New Zealand’s sustainable fisheries at risk.
EPA request for further information can be found below:
The Deepwater Group’s previous media release can be found here: