NSW EPA updates contamination guidelines

THE NSW EPA has released new draft guidelines on how to report land contamination and is now calling for public comment.

Staff Reporter

Craig Lamberton, EPA director hazardous incidents and environmental health said that guidelines also provide the EPA with a framework to follow to access the significance of contamination and facilitate any necessary clean up.

"Most contaminated sites are the historical legacy of past industrial or waste management practices before contemporary environmental legislation was introduced. However, some current activities such as fuel storage in underground tanks have the potential to create new contamination legacies," Lamberton said.

“Landowners in NSW have a legal duty to notify the EPA when they are aware of activities, past or present that may have contaminated land. Failure to notify is a crime and can result in significant penalties."

The draft Guidelines on the Duty to Report Contamination have been updated to include new and revised information in line with the amended National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM).

They now include reference to new criteria in the NEPM like asbestos, health screening levels for petroleum hydrocarbons and soil vapour as well as reference to revised criteria for health investigation levels.

Submissions will be received until 5pm on August 8.