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Published: 2012-03-08 00:00:00

Issued at 1900hrs:

Waikato Regional Council’s oil spill response team is tonight hoping there will be minimal environmental impacts from a diesel spill at Kawhia wharf.

An early estimate is that about 100 litres of diesel has been spilled into the sea and some has been washed up on shore near the wharf.

The source of the spill hasn’t yet been determined. The council has been taking water samples today as part of the investigation into the spill.

Regional on-scene commander Adam Munro said there were hopes of a minimal environmental impact due to the level of the spill and the fact that tides and wind would help break up and disperse the diesel reasonably quickly.

“We’ll reassess things in the morning to see what more needs to be done to help mitigate any environmental impacts.

“We’ll also be continuing to try to discover exactly how this diesel has come to be in the water and who was responsible.”

Mr Munro said that any spill of diesel into the sea had the potential to harm marine and bird life, as well as people, and such incidents are taken very seriously by the council.

“We will work closely with the local community and other agencies to try to ensure there is no repeat of this type of incident at Kawhia.”