Oil/Gas contaminants, wastes and worms

Greymouth 'a bad look' TDN 15 10 14 Remediation NZ landfarm

This article was published in the print version (only) of the Taranaki Daily News, 15 Oct 2014. The day before publication, Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) released 20 consent compliance monitoring reports, 8 of which on the oil and gas sector.

Greymouth was pinpointed out because of its “improvement required” performance at York-A wellsite, Midhirst, which received 5 abatement notices for its inferior culverts in 2013. Greymouth also received an abatement notice at its Kowhai-C wellsite, Tikorangi, in Dec 2013 when significant ponding was observed within the ring drains which if not remedied, could result in contaminants being discharged offsite untreated and unauthorised. It was rated “good” in performance nonetheless.

Though not reported in the news, Kea’s Puka-1 wellsite received an abatement notice and two infringement notices, one for failing to comply with the abatement notice, and one for a breach of the RMA (unconsented discharge to land).

Remediation NZ’s monitoring report says “RNZ produces organic fertiliser (worm casting) for national and international markets.” It has a composting and vermiculture operation at Mokau Road, Uruti, and vermiculture operations at Waitara Road and Pennington Road. All sites accept drilling wastes as raw materials. The Oct 2014 report described the process at the Uruti site, “synthetic hydrocarbon contaminated drilling muds and cuttings are piled up on the remediation pad and the liquids are allowed to drain. The runoff is treated in the series of ponds. … skims off any floating hydrocarbons… remediated drilling wastes are blended with green waste and other organic matter for composting….” For 2013-2014, RNZ received a “poor” performance rating due to unauthorised direct discharges of irrigation fluid and drilling waste leachate to the Haehanga Stream system.

Keen gardeners may want to know this: Revital Fertilisers are the sales and marketing division of RNZ.

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