Managing contaminated land in NSW

How to report land contamination to us, the legal consequences of contaminating land or not cleaning it up, and who is responsible for looking after contaminated land.

The management of contaminated land in NSW is shared by the EPA and planning authorities, including the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and local councils.

The EPA regulates contaminated land under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act) where contamination is significant enough to need regulation.

Contaminated land that is not regulated by the EPA is managed by planning authorities through the planning and development process.

The EPA also administers the NSW site auditor scheme, makes or approves guidelines for assessing and remediating contaminated land, and manages the public record of regulated sites under the CLM Act.

The EPA may also

  • review technologies under the Environmentally Hazardous Chemicals Act 1985 (EHC Act) and assess proposed technologies for treating certain chemical wastes (such as scheduled chemical wastes) to establish their effectiveness
  • assess licence applications for remediation proposals as part of the integrated development assessment process
  • issue and enforce licences that regulate waste treatment, storage and/or disposal facilities, under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) or the EHC Act
  • issue clean-up and prevention notices under the POEO Act
Page last updated