Tag Archives: flooding

Storing a Class 1A Ecotoxin safely: Why was a quantity of 1080 sufficient to kill 540,000 adult humans stored in a South Is flood-prone shed that subsequently flooded?

1080 STORAGE SHED FLOODED – WHY HAVE WE NOT HEARD ABOUT THIS?

By Carol Sawyer

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On 25 and 26 March, 2019, extremely severe rainfall caused extensive flooding on the West Coast of the South Island. The bridge over the Waiho River at Franz Josef was swept away., and the State Highway, the only access road up the Coast, cut in two.

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Further south, on the banks of the Okuru River just south of Haast, is Nolan Road, home to members of the Nolan family and JJ Nolan, owner of ‘JJ Nolan’s Transport Ltd’. JJ Nolan’s transport has, for very many years, transported 1080 poison baits south from Whanganui to the South Island, to Haast, Makarora, etc. … to 1080 drop loading zones, or to Northern Southland Transport in Te Anau, who then move it on to 1080 drop loading zones, etc. Nolan trucks are travelling south from Whanganui right now, in fact. They are part of the big 1080 Gravy Train.

On Nolan Road, Okuru, is a shed used for storing 1080 poison baits. This latest flood swept through the properties pictured above in the aerial photograph, including, I am told, the 1080 storage shed. It is rumoured the shed contained at least 25 tonnes of 1080 baits at the time. As you can see (photo slide show below), this four bay shed could hold a large amount of 1080 poison baits. 25 tonnes is only approximately one truck and trailer unit. You can see a truck and trailer curtain-sider beside the storage shed, which gives you some idea. Only half the depth of the storage shed is visible in the street view photos, by the way.

(These photos were taken completely legally from Nolan Road, which is a public road. The ‘Closed area’ sign at Nolan Creek refers to whitebaiting. It says “Nolan Creek – This waterway is closed to whitebait fishing”)

Floods in this area are not new. Here is a video of a massive flood in the Haast area in 1994;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_Zsjsgx1t8

Why, then,would you build a 1080 storage shed in a flood-prone area?! Why did DoC give this contractor permission to store 1080 baits here?​ The second aerial photo shows old river courses (marked with red dotted lines) ! This is not a place one should even store chook food!!​

1080 poison disperses in water quickly and easily, so imagine floodwaters ebbing away and imagine how enormous the concentration of pure 1080 poison in the last water to leach out of fadges of baits would be ! (1) (2)

The first property you come to on Nolan Road, I have been told, belongs to Maurice and Kathleen Nolan. In the Otago Daily Times (8 April, 2019), it is reported of this house:

“Wild weather lashed the West Coast last month, forcing the postponement of the calf sale for a week – and flooding Mr and Mrs Nolan’s house, the water reaching over the top of their dining room chairs”

TVOne News apparently reported a cottage on the next property along ( the one with the storage shed on it ) as being destroyed by the flood, too.

I am told the occupiers of all three of these properties had to move to the local camping ground after the flood.

The photos show the property with the 1080 storage shed and also show you Nolan Creek, a bit further along the road, to give you some idea of flood damage. Nolan Creek runs just metres behind the 1080 storage shed, incidentally, then crosses Nolan Road and runs into the Okuru River.

The high flood level is evident from the grass hanging on the fence and the silage plastic wrapped around the top of the fence in front of the 1080 storage shed.

If it is true, as rumoured, that the shed contained a minimum of 25 tonnes of 1080 baits at the time, I should explain to you how very lethal this is :

25 tonnes of 1080 baits contain 37.5 kgs of pure 1080 poison.

The LD50 for a human being: “Based on fatal or near-fatal cases of human poisonings, the dangerous dose for humans is 0.5-2.0 mg/kg BW (Negherbon 1959)”

If we take the lowest figure that means that 35mgs pure 1080 poison can kill a 70 kg adult human being.

Therefore 25 tonnes of 1080 baits contain enough pure 1080 poison to kill as many as 540,000 people and poison another 540,000!!!

SHOULD ENOUGH 1080 TO KILL 540,000 ADULT HUMANS BE STORED IN A FLOOD-PRONE SHED?!!

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Photos :
Streetviews – Joel Lund
Captions and graphics on aerial views – Richard Healey
Photos of flooded fenceposts on drive of first Nolan property – sent to me anonymously.
‘JJ Nolan’ truck at aerial 1080 drop, Makarora – February, 2017 – Carol Sawyer

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Richard Healey comments on this information :

“Hmmm… that shed is likely to have standard 6m bays, but lets be conservative and say 5m. That makes the height to the top of the doors a bit over 4m. The shed is 70% as deep as it is wide so 14m.
That makes the volume somewhere around 1,100 cubic metres. If you were to fill that to the top with wheat that would be 870 Tonne so 25T would take up about 1/32 of the space. I’m picking that bait doesn’t pack anywhere as well as wheat but it does show just how much 1080 bait you could stack in there.
At 0.15% pure 1080, and assuming that bait is 60% as dense as wheat, that’s a maximum of 783kg of highly water soluble toxin in a tanalised-post farm shed, on a flood plain, with no bunding or other containment measures. Even if it’s near the rumoured 25T that would amount to more than 37kg of pure 1080. Who issued the permit for that storage?!”

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(1) Studies reported in the ERMA Reassessment of 1080 in 2007 showed that 1080 leached readily out of baits that were made wet by sprinklers:

“rapid decline [in 1080 concentration in cereal baits on turf under sprinklers] (ERMA Agency Appendix C page 380)

“1080 was detected in soil under the baits after 20mm rain, reaching a maximum after 100mm and close to the LOD after 250 mm” (ERMA Agency Appendix C page 381)

Also one of the reasons for its low rate of detection in water samples taken after 1080 drops was rapid loss of 1080 from the baits in water:

“the reason for so many non-detects in water monitoring..may be partly due to..rapid..dilution or loss of 1080 from, and disintegration of..baits within the first 12 hours of deposition..the author [Suren, 2006] recommends sampling within 4-8 hours..frequently resource consents require monitoring one day or more after..the operation” ERMA Agency Appendix E page 473″S

(2) Richard Healey comments again :

“There have been a couple of studies that give some clues about what happens to the 1080 when it comes into contact with water. Ogilvie, in “Uptake of 1080 by Watercress and Puha – Culturally Important plants used for food”, has a couple of observations that give a clue as to how contaminated the land around the Okuru will now be:
“A study by Suren (2006) examined the fate of 1080 baits in a controlled laboratory flow tank, and found 50% of the 1080 leached after 5 hours submerged in the water, and >90% leached after 24 hours, thus being very rapid. While the flow rate used in Suren’s (2006) controlled experiment was faster than the flow rates recorded here (0.2 L/sec as opposed to an overall stream flow of 0.042 – 0.044 L/sec in this research), it still indicates the rapid deterioration and leaching of 1080 from baits submerged in flowing water”.

That study also shows that Watercress is particularly good at sucking 1080 out of water and concentrating it in plant material. The authors couldn’t find detectable levels of 1080 in water 14 hours after dropping baits into a very gentle stream, yet toxicity within the plants continued to build for the next seven days to a peak level of 63 ppb. The study methodology and reporting are however woeful.

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to the authors that water velocity is likely to be an important factor and so they give flow rates (for an undefined cross-section) which tells us nothing about how much water passed over each bait. They then confuse the issue by labeling flow rate as velocity.

One thing is absolutely certain however, someone should be checking the inventory log for that shed and sampling the hell out of the surrounding area.”

SOURCE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1174446982637285/?multi_permalinks=2214282398653733&notif_id=1555472535603152&notif_t=group_activity

 

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The controversial Tull Chemical Co in Alabama US, suppliers of pure 1080 to NZ is not closed as claimed

By Carol Sawyer

TULL CHEMICAL CO, OXFORD, ALABAMA IS STILL OPEN

There has been a lot of speculation about this in the past six months.

Mandy Ram, a Kiwi living in the USA, rang the factory today ( last night, NZ time ). The owner, Charles Wigley, answered. She asked him if Tull is still supplying NZ with pure 1080. He told her …

“I know they are making baits”. She asked where the chemicals were coming from and he said “I have to go”

… and hung up.

I rang myself just now. I got an answer phone. I realized afterwards that it was 6.00 pm in the evening there, so they will be closed. However the answer phone message was :

“You’ve reached the Tull Chemical Company. We are not able to take your call at this time. If you leave your name, contact number, and a brief message, we’ll be happy to return your call as soon as possible”.

I didn’t bother. Doesn’t sound like a “closed” company to me !

In early August, 2018, No to 1080 Use in NZ received a response to an OIA request to the NZ government. The relevant answer is attached, which says we still source our pure 1080 poison from the USA.

The Google business directory still lists Tull Chemical Co as open. However in mid-August, 2018, I received a screenshot from another friend in the USA which showed it as ” permanently closed”. (I have attached this for your interest).

As well as this, if you go to Tull Chemical Co in the Google business directory and click on photos, one of the photos is of a child in a paddling pool. Someone is playing “silly buggers”.

BUT, Tull Chemical Company, Oxford, Alabama, USA is still open for business it seems. The address is listed as 130 Burton St. The sign on the fence says 327 Burton St.

Burton St is a very short street running off Williams St, and there are no other buildings on it.

I couldn’t get Google Earth to send me screenshots today, but I took photographs myself… looking down Burton St to the factory.

Please note the sign at the start of the street which says “FLOOD AREA” and bear in mind this factory has been producing around 5 tons of pure 1080 per annum. In 2004 and 2015, owner Charles Wigley said he “makes as much as 5 tons of pure poison annually, with most of it being exported to New Zealand.”

In an article by Jay Reeves, 2004, Wigley said :

“….he follows the law and laces his poison with black dye that would show up if the chemical, an organic compound, got into either floodwaters in the neighborhood or – if used by terrorists – a public water reservoir.”

The problem is he doesn’t/didn’t dye the poison scheduled for NZ at all.. it is reportedly white. (Be a bit hard to dye it green if it was already black!)

I have also, for your interest, taken photos to left and right, looking down Williams St from the start of Burton St.

Note Monsanto link : “Tull Allen, Wigley’s grandfather, started Tull Chemical in 1956 after purchasing the process to make Compound 1080 from Monsanto Co., which had made the poison at a nearby plant that later became infamous for polluting Oxford and nearby Anniston with PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls.” – Jay Reeves, South Wire, 2004

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The Flood Danger of Edgecumbe That The Authorities Knew About in 1945

Last week saw devastating floods in the town of Edgecumbe in the beautiful Bay of Plenty. Heartfelt sympathies to all who have been affected by this carnage.  I was living in that region during the 2004 floods so saw the devastation then myself. Fortunately we lived on higher ground so were unaffected. 

Further down the page is a link to a Give a Little campaign for those affected recently.

It seems little known that back in 1945 plans for subdivision in Edgecumbe were declined by the Dept of Lands because the area would always be subject to flooding they said ….

“…the township of Edgecumbe will be subject always to serious and dangerous flood hazard”.

Read the article archived at the National Library NZ

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READ MORE

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/BPB19450403.2.24

However opponents to that advice or ruling won the day as can be seen in the article and the town was built.

I’ve gathered together here a few articles on the topic and note the frequent reference to Edgecumbe being flood prone but nowhere can I see any reference to the advice of the Department of Lands back in 1945 to not build there. 

Thursday in pictures: Edgecumbe evacuated in ‘500-year event’

Everyone has been told to leave. People are being evacuated from the Bay of Plenty town of Edgecumbe where the Rangitaiki River has breached, flowing into the township.

READ MORE (pictures of flooding included)

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/91275516/In-pictures-Edgecumbe-evacuated-in-500-year-event

Q&A: What is a one in 500-year flood, and does that really apply to Edgecumbe?

Edgecumbe’s flood has been identified as the greatest flood on record  – but is it truly “a 500-year flood”, as has been suggested?

Bay of Plenty Regional Council made the claim after the Rangitaiki River burst through stopbanks designed for a one-in-100 year flood event, gushing into hundreds of homes and forcing 1600 people to evacuate.

Though the weather has cleared, houses remain sodden and filled with mud, and some will be condemned due to structural damage. Residents will be allowed to return briefly to fetch necessities, but it could be up to 10 days before many occupants can go home to inspect the damage and find out what they’ve lost.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/91369561/qa-what-is-a-one-in-500year-flood-and-does-that-really-apply-to-edgecumbe

Flood-ravaged Edgecumbe residents vent their fury at officials during fiery townhall meeting

Hundreds of displaced Edgecumbe residents stormed out of a public meeting as fraying tempers tipped over into anger on Saturday night.

Bleachers were packed with families, children, and elderly, many hugging and comforting each other as the meeting endured and officials appeared to fail to answer the more pressing questions.

The crowd frequently heckled the speakers, often appearing enraged.

READ MORE

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/91366235/floodravaged-edgecumbe-residents-vent-their-fury-at-officials-during-fiery-townhall-meeting

PM sees Edgecumbe flooding for himself

“We are on a path for solutions in the long term.

He says there are no funding issues related to national disaster recovery, despite New Zealand’s particularly bad decade.

“We don’t let funding get in the way of providing the support that’s needed by the households, the businesses, and the farms, to a reasonable level, to help them get them back on their feet.”

Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne says there will be a full investigation to why the flooding protection system didn’t work and what can be done in the future to prevent this from happening again.

Bill says given the destruction there is bound to be a lot of opinions but there needs to be a full understanding of a town that is on a flood plain.

READ MORE

 http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/151336-pm-sees-edgecumbe-flooding-himself.html#sthash.JhMlsq5k.dpuf

Edgecumbe and the Bay of Plenty have shaky, flood-prone histories

Edgecumbe lies on a flood plain and an active seismic zone.

The township and the surrounding area has an unenviable history of natural disasters: quakes, floods, and debris flows.

Many parts of the plains are below sea level.

READ MORE

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/91283546/edgecumbe-and-the-bay-of-plenty-have-shaky-flood-prone-histories

Here is a link to the Give a Little page for help for families affected in this event…

Edgecumbe & Eastern Bay of Plenty (EBOP) Mayoral Flood Appeal

This Mayoral Flood Appeal fund has been launched to support families & individuals through the recovery phase following the 6/4 flood event.

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/ebopmayoralfund