Gastro outbreak shows Ruataniwha must be scrapped – Greenpeace



Greenpeace is calling for the Ruataniwha dam project in Hawke’s Bay to be scrapped in light of the latest lead on the gastro outbreak.

“River pollution from the Tukituki has been identified as a highly possible cause of the outbreak – the worst of its kind in our history,” said Greenpeace Agriculture spokesperson Genevieve Toop.

“The Ruataniwha irrigation dam will compound the pollution problem by driving intensive dairy farming in the Tukituki catchment. If ever there was a time to pull the plug on this scheme it’s now.”

A former GNS Science hydrogeologist says contaminated water from the Tukituki River could have infected the Havelock North water supply. Cows,sheep or deer are thought to be to blame.

“Greenpeace has been saying for some time that the Ruataniwha Dam will put local water sources at risk, because it will enable more dairy cows on the Ruataniwha Plains,” said Ms Toop. “What’s happened in the last week and a half is a massive wake-up call. The local council needs to consign the dam plan to the scrap heap.

“Human health must come before more industrial dairying,” said Ms Toop. “The health of our waterways must come before industrial dairying.”

Last week public health professor Michael Baker told Radio NZ that New Zealand’s drinking water is “under huge pressure from…intensification of dairying, which is obviously contaminating surface water a lot more.” (1)
“Despite the risks, the Government is throwing over half a billion taxpayer dollars at big irrigation schemes, not just in Hawke’s Bay but across the country, and local councils are pouring in millions of dollars of ratepayers’ money. That money should instead be going into better, more ecological farming practices.

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“We should be cleaning up and protecting our rivers and water supplies, not building giant irrigation schemes that will make the problem worse,” said Ms Toop.
“We can’t risk a repeat of what we’re seeing in Hawke’s Bay.”



  1. From a press release today.

    An Environmental watchdog says, the latest contamination of our Havelock North Aquifer, has other issue s to contend with also besides animal waste as do most other waterways near heavy road traffic.

    An Environmental Advocacy Centre who has been established since 2001 from a group of environmental concerned citizens has long advocated road traffic pollution is also entering the waterways around NZ and claims several studies including NIWA has confirmed that road pollution has a detrimental effect on our water quality under our aquifers and waterways and has described this as “The elephant in the room that no one has yet discussed” but Mr ——— a founder of the Environmental Centre who operates an Environmental monitoring company, claims the water is also becoming polluted by other contaminants also “not yet discussed but the discussion needs to be had”, says Mr ——-.

    Mr ———- who has long advocated for rail freight as the future way to reduce the road freight industry demands, “we need to save all our rail assets and we must fight against closure of our Gisborne rail for cycle ways as they don’t save our waterway’s or our reduction of road freight pollution one bit, like it would do by halving the road freight where possible and switching to using rail to move export freight and other uses” says Mr ——–.

    “We have conducted many air Quality surveys at our environmental company around several regions in the last 14 yrs, and observed high levels of tyre contamination from PAH’s as others have in air and soil, and we know what lays on the ground will wind up in our ground water, that even Professor Mike Joy of Massey University confirmed also on Radio NZ yesterday” Mr —– said.

    The environmental company has documented evidence about chemicals and the harm they do, such as the chemical components’ that make up today’s “synthetic tyre” and the dust, as most people don’t how toxic it actually is but as 1, 3,butadiene it is very toxic to all living things.”


    We all know some of the consequences of converting the American transportation system from electric/rail to rubber-tired vehicles. The threat of global warming from combustion of fossil-fuels (oil and gasoline) is one part of the problem. Lung cancer from diesel exhaust is another. [2] But recently, another aspect of our transportation system has appeared in scientific and medical literature: serious pollution from rubber tire fragments (tire dust) released by tire wear.

    Mr ——– states “we have US studies confirming tyre dust pollution is widespread around any road (especially rough surfaced metal or chip surfaced) with an average of 20 000 cars or 2000 truck movements (there & back) as on those roads they will generate tyre particulates from tyres as they will shed 9kgs of it tyre dust along every km of the road, and it mostly ends up in our water everywhere.

    For instance the HB Expressway now has an (AADT) average annual daily total of 2000 truck movements a day also on it, and in Napier City has 12 000 people who live within 200 meters of this truck route through Napier alone, so we must figure the damages to humans that is doing to those people alone never mind what is washed into the aquifers.

    But recently, another aspect of our transportation system has appeared in scientific and medical literature: serious pollution from rubber tire fragments (tire dust) released by tire wear.

    [2] See U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, HEALTH ASSESSMENT DOCUMENT FOR DIESEL EMISSIONS [External Review Draft; 2 volumes: EPA/600/8-90/057Ba and EPA/600/8-90/057Bb] (Research Triangle, N.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, December, 1994). And see RHWN #120.

    Quote; In a recent pollution study of a California road carrying 100,000 vehicles a day with 12 percent trucks, they collected 9kg of tyre dust every month per kilometre. This shows the real problem, and solution —when you consider rail has no tyre pollution and uses five to six times less fuel carrying one tonne per km

    1.3. Butadiene causes cancer, and nervous system damages (not reversible) upon our review of the NIOSH chemical exposure limit for safety, and 1.3. Butadiene exposure safety limit is set as the “Lowest exposure limit possible” before any damages are impacted.

    So although animal waste is an issue no one discusses the elephant in the room that is Tyre dust

    In the case of rubber tires, the problem is more complex than mere latex allergy, although this may well turn out to be a serious public health problem by itself. The high dollar cost of truck freight, private automobile commuting, and maintenance of our highway infrastructure must be counted as major sacrifices to our rubber-tired transportation system. Furthermore, fine particle air pollution now kills an estimated 60,000 Americans in cities each year. [7] And global warming is a serious threat to many nations from many viewpoints. (See REHW #429, #430.)

    Mr ——- finally advises Government that trains don’t emit PAH’s as they have steel wheels and emit only a fraction of exhaust pollution that road freight does to move one tonne one km so why not switch to rail now he asks?

    So, at vehicle operation during tyre service life, small disperse tyre dust and fine aerosol as a result of deterioration is thrown out into environment on the average of (Tables 3, 4 and 5):

    1.4 – 1.9 kg from passenger car tyres;

    3.2 – 4.0 kg from light commercial vehicle tyres;

    12.7 – 17.7 kg from commercial vehicle tyres.

    These results allowed determining average intensity of wear of a protector of investigated tyres.

    He has said “I will fight to the death for our rail as it will be vital for our future sooner than many realise.”

    Mr ————–


    [1] Marty Jezer, THE DARK AGES; LIFE IN THE UNITED STATES, 1945-1960 (Boston: South End Press, 1982), pgs. 138-146.

    [2] See U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, HEALTH ASSESSMENT DOCUMENT FOR DIESEL EMISSIONS [External Review Draft; 2 volumes: EPA/600/8-90/057Ba and EPA/600/8-90/057Bb] (Research Triangle, N.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, December, 1994). And see RHWN #120.

    [3] P. Brock Williams and others, “Latex allergen in respirable particulate air pollution,” JOURNAL OF ALLERGY AND CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY Vol. 95, No. 1, Part 1 (January 1995), pgs. 88-96. And see: M. Michael Glovsky and others, “Can Latex Allergy be Triggered by Air Pollution?” Abstract presented at Experimental Biology ’95 in Atlanta, Georgia during April, 1995. Dr. Glovsky’s address: Asthma Center, Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena, CA 91105. Phone: (818) 397-3383; fax: (818) 795-0982. Glovsky’s work is discussed briefly in J. Raloff, “Latex allergies from right out of thin air?” SCIENCE NEWS Vol. 147, No. 16 (April 22, 1995), pg. 244. See also: L.M. Hildemann and others, “Chemical Composition of Emissions from Urban Sources of Fine Organic Aerosol,” ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Vol. 25, No. 4 (1991), pgs. 744-759.

    [4] Doris Jaeger and others, “Latex-Specific proteins causing immediate-type cutaneous, nasal, bronchial, and systemic reactions,” JOURNAL OF ALLERGY AND CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY Vol. 88, No. 3 (March 1992), pgs. 759-768. And: Gordon L. Sussman and Donald H. Beezhold, “Allergy to Latex Rubber,” ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Vol. 122, No. 1 (January 1, 1995), pgs. 43-46. And: Denise-Anne Moneret-Vautrin and others, “Prospective study of risk factors in natural rubber latex hypersensitivity,” JOURNAL OF ALLERGY AND CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY Vol. 82, No. 5 (November 1993), pgs. 668-677.

    [5] Tire use in 1995 is a projection based on trends from 1970-1990 shown in: Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE UNITED STATES 1990 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990), Table 1027; and Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, Statistical Abstract of the United States 1992 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992), Table 1000.

    [6] Richard Lipkin, “No-itch latex,” SCIENCE NEWS Vol. 147, No. 16 (April 22, 1995), pg. 254.

    [7] C. Arden Pope III and others, “Particulate Air Pollution as a Predictor of Mortality in a Prospective Study of U.S. Adults,” AMERICAN JOURNAL OF RESPIRATORY AND CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE Vol. 151, No. 3 (March 1995), pgs. 669-674. See also RHWN #373.

    Descriptor terms: automobiles; transportation systems; general motors; mass transit; railroads; trolleys; electric street railways; firestone rubber; gm; standard oil of california; new york; philadelphia; baltimore; st. louis; oakland; salt lake city; los angeles; pacific electric railway; diesel; buses; global warming; lung cancer; asthma; allergies; latex allergy; rubber; guayule; air pollution; radial tires; fine particles; bias ply tires;

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