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Awakino oil spill report

On this page: Abstract, table of contents

Report: TR 2011/20

Author: D Lovatt


This report provides a technical summary of operations surrounding the recovery of used bunker oil following a truck and articulated trailer rollover on State Highway 3 in the Awakino Gorge. Tank rupture on the trailer unit released a substantial amount (approximately 20,000 litres) of waste oil into the Awakino River within 12 kilometres of the coastal marine area (CMA).

The interaction between a number of agencies and the oil recovery response under two different pieces of legislation is discussed in this report. Oil spill response capabilities and authority under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and the Maritime
Transport Act 1994 (MTA) legislation are somewhat different. Processes and procedures are examined for suitability and effectiveness with recommendations made to address issues. Restrictions imposed by working in an isolated area dominated work practices and provided challenges to well established practices and responders involved.

Wildlife and environmental impacts observed to date, including test procedures and results, also form part of this report as a comprehensive collation of events surrounding the Awakino spill.

Awakino oil spill report (1mb)

Table of contents

  Abstract iii
  Executive summary v
1 Introduction 1
2 Incident response 3
  File note: Awakino oil spill June 2011 (Smith, 2011) 8
2.1 Observations and limitations controlling the response 11
2.2 Response under the RMA 12
2.3 Response under the MTA 12
2.4 Response of the spiller 13
2.5 Discussion on tier 2 declaration 13
3 Challenges of working coherently within multiple organisations 15
4 Oil recovery options 15
5 Health and safety on the work site 16
6 Operational constraints and challenges 16
6.1 Operational recommendations 17
7 Wildlife 21
7.1 Awakino oil spill - Massey wildlife report 21
8 Monitoring 24
8.1 Recommendations 24
  Methodology 24
8.2 Results of sampling as of 6/12/2011 26
9 Summary of inter-agency debrief (14 July 2011) 28
10 Vehicle accident investigation findings 29
11 Conclusion 29
 12 References / Bibliography 31