Govt inaction on polluted sites exposing the innocent - lobby

Tuesday 7 December 2004

Government inaction over the past decade on allocating liability for cleaning up polluted sites has left homeowners and businesses exposed to potentially huge losses in property values, says a lobbyist.

By The Landlord

The Sustainability Council yesterday called for developers and users of hazardous substances to be made strictly liable for economic loss caused to third parties and any harm to human health that is not covered by ACC.

Council executive director Simon Terry, of Wellington said that liability for the clean-up of historic contaminated sites needed to be addressed by the Government.

The Environment Ministry proposed in 1995 to create a new law that would have made polluters liable retrospectively and would have exempted from liability present-day property owners who were not aware of contamination when they purchased.

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