The Contaminated Land Management Program

The NSW Contaminated Land Management Program (CLM Program) supports the investigation and remediation of sites with the potential to pose a significant risk of harm to the environment.

Initially established in 2001, and funded by the NSW Environmental Trust, the program has invested $25.5 million to remediate legacy contamination land areas in NSW on sites that may have otherwise been left unaddressed. 

The aims of the program are to:

  1. Protect the environment and human health by facilitating remediation of significantly contaminated land that would not otherwise be cleaned up in a timely or efficient manner due to limited funding, knowledge and expertise.
  2. Build the capacity of regional NSW to prevent and manage the environmental liability of contaminated sites.

Background and objectives

Contaminated sites can pose a risk to human health and the environment. Poorly managed sites can be a source of ongoing pollution of aquifers and waterways, degrading habitats, hampering the beneficial use of natural resources, preventing the development of land and threatening fresh water security.

NSW operates under a ‘polluter-pays’ principle, with mechanisms to hold landowners accountable for contaminated land management. In some cases, landowners may have legitimate reasons for not adequately managing contamination - for example, if they did not cause the contamination, could not be reasonably expected to know about the contamination when they inherited the site and/or do not have resources to adequately remediate the site.

The CLM Program was originally established by the Environmental Trust in 2001 to provide financial assistance for the remediation of significant contamination legacies that could not be resolved using available regulatory tools under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act). Funding was provided to legacy sites where, without external funding, harm would continue or worsen, and the clean-up would be significantly delayed or potentially not occur at all.

Since 2011, the EPA has administered the program on behalf of the Environmental Trust. Proposed funds for 2018-2021 will be $1.4milliion annual for three years.

Decision-making and governance

The overall management of the CLM Program is held within the NSW EPA Contaminated Land Management section, guided by the advice of technical experts from industry and liaison with representatives from local government and the community.

Contaminated Land Management Steering Committee

The Contaminated Land Management Steering Committee (CLMSC) was established to provide advice on policy and direction for the CLM Program and approve decisions on finance, governance, strategic direction and program management.

CLMSC members include representatives from the key stakeholder groups. They undertake regular reviews the funding allocations across the sub-programs to optimise scheduling and expenditure of the CLM Program.

Membership of the steering committee

Member category/organisation Representative
Chair Steve Beaman, Executive Director Hazardous Incidents and Environmental Health, NSW EPA
Local Government NSW Susy Cenedese, Strategy Manager
NSW Health Adam Capon, Principal Advisor, Environmental Health Branch
Environmental law expert Jeff Smith
Accredited CLM site auditor Kylie Lloyd, Zoic Environmental Pty Ltd
Remediation/industry expert Mark Murrie, Asia Pacific Remediation Manager, BP
Community representative Robert Verhey

Grants awarded 2014–16

Recipient Project Project summary

Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils (RAMROC)/Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC)

Regional Capacity Building Program Increasing capacity and assistance for the management of contaminated sites in RAMROC/REROC local government areas.
Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo and Central NSW Salinity and Water Quality Alliance Regional Capacity Building Program Increasing capacity and assistance for the management of contaminated sites in BOD/Central SWQA local government areas.
Mid North Coast Regional Organisation of Councils (MIDROC)  Regional Capacity Building Program Increasing capacity and assistance for the management of contaminated sites in MIDROC local government areas.
Hunter Councils Regional Capacity Building Program Increasing capacity and assistance for the management of contaminated sites in Hunter Councils local government areas.
Gunnedah Shire Council Additional remediation Remediating five sites with underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS) within the Gunnedah local government area.
Cowra Council Additional investigations Investigating contamination at the former gasworks site in Cowra.
Wingecarribee Shire Council Additional investigations Investigating contamination at the former gasworks in Bowral.

Sub-programs

Sub-programs within the Contaminated Land Management Program aim to assist in the remediation of identified contaminated sites and the identification and assessment of potentially contaminated sites. Visit the sub-programs page for more detail.

More information

If you require further information about the program please contact the CLM Program Manager at contaminated.sites@epa.nsw.gov.au.

Page last updated