Flood Contaminated Lands Assessment Program (Northern Rivers)

This program provides you with a free soil assessment for properties that may be contaminated as a result of floods.

The program is only for the Northern Rivers area of NSW. For flood related programs in other areas please visit Service NSW Emergencies and disasters.

If you are concerned that the soil on your property may have become contaminated as a result of the floods, you might be eligible for the Flood Contaminated Lands Assessment Program (Northern Rivers).

This is an opt-in program that will provide you with a free assessment report, including remediation recommendations (where identified as being needed), undertaken by a suitably qualified land contamination expert engaged by the EPA. The program focuses on risks to public health and the environment and in some cases may also cover clean-up/remediation costs.

The program is being jointly funded by the State and Commonwealth Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Details on how to register are at ServiceNSW: Request for assistance.

You can request support if:

  • you are a residential or small business property owner or tenant impacted by the February and March 2022 severe weather and flooding (AGRN 1012) and your property is located within a following local government area:
    • Ballina
    • Byron
    • Clarence Valley
    • Kyogle
    • Lismore
    • Richmond Valley
    • Tweed
  • your property was inundated by flood waters
  • you are concerned that the soil at your property has become contaminated as a result of flood waters.

Eligible items:

  • undertaking of an assessment by an independent and suitably qualified land contamination expert engaged by the NSW EPA
  • ground surface level assessment of the property for flood-generated contamination including asbestos and other chemical contaminates such as fuels, oils and pesticides.

Ineligible items:

  • any contamination that was in existence on a property prior to the flood event, including from any past land use practices
  • structural contamination including inside homes, buildings and structures
  • any contamination that was not generated by the flood event
  • assessments covering an area of greater than 1,000 square metres on a property.

Note: all property assessments to be performed under the Program will be assessed by the land contaminated expert, with priority being based on the risk to public health and the environment.

Contaminants assessed will include hydrocarbons (e.g. fuels, oils), agricultural chemicals, asbestos and other chemicals or contaminants of concern.

Assessments will cover an area of up to 1,000 square metres on a property, focussing on outdoor areas surrounding residences.

GHD Pty Ltd has been appointed by the NSW EPA as the Managing Contractor and will provide the qualified assessors and project management necessary to deliver the program as quickly and efficiently as possible.

GHD have demonstrated the necessary expertise related to the scale and nature of the anticipated work.

After registering on Service NSW, you will be contacted by a GHD Pty Ltd representative to clarify the details of your contamination concerns and schedule an inspection subject to necessary agreements, including the landowner in the case of a tenanted property.

Your inspection will be conducted by a contaminated land expert from GHD Pty Ltd. They will assess the land for any flood generated contamination at your property. A focus will be on assessing risks to public health and the environment. The inspection may or may not include the collection of samples including soil, depending on the nature of the contamination.

Following the inspection, you will be presented with a report on the findings of the assessment, which will confirm if the soil on your property has been contaminated by flood waters or not and any recommended remediation/clean-up measures.

After receiving your report, the findings and remediation options may be discussed with you.

Please be aware that the results of the assessment may be shared with the relevant local council.

In cases where remediation is recommended, remediation actions will be discussed with individual landholders and developed on a site-by-site basis. Depending on the source of contamination, remediation costs (where required) may be covered under the program.

The program will not reimburse you for any flood contamination assessment and/or clean-up costs that you may have already performed or completed.