Thursday, September 15, 2022

Shouldn't we make them pay for it?

Yesterday a new report from Environment Southland found widespread environmental contamination at the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. Both the soil and groundwater has been contaminated with fluoride and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and the stormwater drains are full of heavy metals. Worse, this is just what we know - the data is incomplete, and they don't really know whether it has contaminated the harbour. Today, Environment Southland put a cost on the cleanup: a staggering $1 billion. Which leads to the obvious questions: shouldn't we make the company responsible for this mess pay to clean it up, as we've done for the oil industry? And if they don't want to, why should we let them operate in Aotearoa at all?