Lead Expert Working Group - Lead exposure management for the suburbs surrounding the former Pasminco lead smelter

The Lead Expert Working Group was established by the NSW EPA in December 2014, to evaluate the effectiveness of the Lead Abatement Strategy, and associated remediation activities, for land impacted by the Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter in Boolaroo NSW. The Lead Expert Working Group includes representatives from the EPA, NSW Health, Lake Macquarie City Council and academia

In December 2016, the Lead Expert Working Group (LEWG) published findings and recommendations in the Report on Managing Residual Lead Contamination in North Lake Macquarie (PDF 2.5MB).

Report on managing residual lead contamination in North Lake Macquarie

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has welcomed the Lead Expert Working Group’s report and recommendations to manage legacy lead contamination for properties impacted by the Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter.

All 22 recommendations in the LEWG report for health, development and future funding to address the long-term management of lead-related contamination caused by the Smelter are endoresed and financially supported by the NSW government.

The Lead Expert Working Group members

Government representatives

Chair (EPA)

Adam Gilligan Adam Gilligan
Adam Gilligan is the regional manager of the Hunter EPA. Adam has worked in local government for the past 18 years at Newcastle City Council, first as an Environment Protection Officer, before leading a number of regulatory teams. Since 2009, Adam was Compliance Services Manager at the Council, responsible for environment protection, environmental health, food surveillance, development compliance, fire safety, Rangers and parking regulation.

Adam holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science and a Masters in Leadership and Management (Policing). Adam has a particular in interest in regulatory reform.

Secretary (EPA)

Lauren Spring Lauren Spring
Lauren Spring is an Environmental Scientist currently in the role of Operations Officer within the Contaminated Sites Section of the NSW EPA. Lauren is responsible for the assessment, management and regulation of sites notified to the EPA under the provisions of Section 60 of the CLM Act. Lauren is a former consultant in the area of contamination and environmental management. She has significant field based experience and has undertaken detailed site investigations and delivered remedial works programs for a range of sites across NSW, ACT and the NT.

EPA representative

Matthew James Matthew James
Matthew James is a regulatory officer with the Contaminated Sites Section of the EPA. Matt is responsible for the regulation of the remediation of the former Pasminco Smelter site and Incitec site at Boolaroo. He is a former CSIRO environmental chemist who worked with Professor Brian Gulson on lead research projects including the Biokinetics of lead in human pregnancy. Matt moved into environmental management in 2007 and has since worked as an environmental consultant, technical advisor for a remediation contractor before joining the EPA as an environmental scientist.

NSW Health representative

Craig Dalton Dr Craig Dalton
Craig Dalton is a public health physician at Hunter New England Health and Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School Medical Practice and Public Health, University of Newcastle. As director of the Hunter Public Health Unit from 1997 to 2004 he oversaw blood lead surveillance and the operation of the North Lake Macquarie Environmental Health Centre programs in community education, lead abatement and clinical management.

Lake Macquarie City Council representative

Dean Chapman Dean Chapman
Dean Chapman is the Environmental Security Coordinator for Lake Macquarie City Council (LMCC). His responsibilities include coordinating LMCC's risk mitigation strategies for environmental threats to residents of the LMCC area. He has 25 years' experience in natural resource management including floodplain risk management, wetland rehabilitation, coastal processes, soil conservation planning and implementation and water resource management. Dean's extensive knowledge of the region's differing environs and their environmental issues has resulted in his inclusion on Estuary and Floodplain Management Committees, Community Reference groups and Catchment Management Committees.

Academic representatives

Academic representative

Mark Taylor Professor Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor is a Professor of Environmental Science at Macquarie University. His research program investigates environmental pollution and risks to human health from aerosols, dusts, sediments, soil and water. His work covers a range of locations across Australia, including Broken Hill, Mount Isa and Port Pirie. Mark's previous experience includes being a Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court, providing expert evidence and advice to government, industry, lawyers and community on a range of environmental matters. He has published over 100 research papers and a similar number of other research reports.

Academic representative

Stephen Cattle Associate Professor Stephen Cattle
Stephen Cattle is an Associate Professor in Soil Science with the University of Sydney, Department of Environmental Sciences. He has extensive research experience in dust monitoring, the effects of deposited dusts on soil properties and characterising dust-derived soil types. In recent years he has investigated the distribution of lead in soils around Broken Hill, and the bioaccessibility of topsoil lead in that area.

Expert representatives

Contaminated Site Auditor representative

Graeme Nyland Graeme Nyland
Graeme Nyland is the Managing Principal of ENVIRON's Sydney office. He is an engineering geologist with more than 35 years of consulting experience in the areas of environmental and geotechnical consulting, with a focus on soil and groundwater contamination. As a contaminated sites auditor, accredited by both NSW Environment Protection Authority and WA Department of Environment Regulation, he has conducted more than 400 statutory and voluntary audits in NSW, ACT and WA, and has been auditor of the Pasminco site since 2008.

Terms of reference

The EPA has prepared terms of reference (PDF 224KB) to support and guide the Lead Expert Working Group.

Meeting minutes


Presentations made to the working group:



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