MDC may address Methyl Bromide use through Sounds Resource Management Plan

Marlborough District Council Media Statement

The Marlborough District Council will consider including conditions under which fumigants like Methyl bromide may be used at the port of Picton when it drafts the new Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan.

Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman says at present the use of such fumigants is permitted because the issue is not specifically limited under existing legislation or by way of the current RMA.

Introducing a regime under which consents must be sought from the Council for the use of any such fumigants would allow the Council to impose environmental controls and conditions on their use.

“This would allow the Council to set out fumigant management controls designed to lessen risk to the public,” said Mr Sowman.

The Mayor said the Council’s Environmental Policy Committee would looks to introduce a consent process which required that stringent health and safety standards be met.

“It seems we have to take this step because there’s a gap in the present environmental protection regime,” he said.

However Mr Sowman noted that central government has long been advised that it should take responsibility for resolving the debate about the use of fumigants.

“I have said in the past that this is not simply an issue for Picton and that is still the case. These issues have implications for the practices followed at ports around the country and require a national response,” said Mr Sowman.