Firefighters contained a chemical spill in the Hastings suburb of Flaxmere on Saturday afternoon which had the potential to kill animal and marine life.
Fire Service Hastings Senior Station Officer Bruno Saathof told NZPA a Cropliner spraying unit with a full tank of insecticide was being towed by a tractor between two orchards when the towbar broke about 11am.
The insecticide was extremely toxic to animal and marine life and 150 litres of the 2000 litre load spilled.
However, firefighters were able to stop it entering the stormwater drains by blocking the drains with foam.
Those responsible for such spills could be charged the cost of the cleanup, Mr Saathof said.