The Government is considering legal action after a deal to move potentially dangerous chemicals from the Southland town of Mataura fell through.
The stockpile of 10,000 tonnes of ouvea premix, which creates ammonia gas when wet, came to national attention during flooding last week.
It's a by-product from the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.
The local council claims bosses there struck a handshake deal to move it after the flood, but owners Rio Tinto have since reneged.
Environment Minister David Parker is outraged and says he's taking legal advice.