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Published: 2008-02-08 00:00:00

The environmental impacts of a tanker truck fire at Fonterra’s Te Rapa site this morning are expected to be minimal, Environment Waikato says.

The regional council was alerted to the incident at about 6.45am and two staff members were sent to the scene.

Resource officer Blair Campbell said it appeared two tanker trucks parked on a tar sealed area had caught fire. As a result, a small amount of diesel from their fuel tanks had run into a storm water drain.

“However the company got onto it very quickly and it appears all the diesel was contained,” Mr Campbell said.

“Diesel and water used to put out the fire was channeled from the storm water drains into an underground interceptor tank. We think about 50-60 litres went in there in total and that will be removed using a sucker truck and disposed of safely.

“The company’s system is set up so that wastewater flows from the interceptor tank into dispersal ponds and we can see no evidence of any diesel in the ponds, so it looks like all the diesel has been caught.

“We have carried out a further inspection of the scene but have found no evidence of any further contamination at this stage.

“We believe the environmental impacts of the diesel spill will be minimal thanks to the systems that were in place, and at this point we’re not expecting any downstream water takes to be affected.”

Mr Campbell praised the actions of the fire service, which used absorbent materials to prevent diesel entering storm water drains as the fire was being extinguished.