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You can stay up to date with the latest contaminated land management news and events, including

  • changes to policy and regulatory requirements
  • updates to guidelines and legislation
  • opportunities to have your say on public exhibitions.

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1 September 2020 - No. 25

EPA cost recovery fee changes

The EPA can recover administrative costs for certain activities outlined in the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997. This amount is prescribed in the Contaminated Land Management Regulation 2013 and is adjusted each year in line with the Public Service Wage Price Index. The new fee rates are outlined in the table below, which take effect from 1 September 2020.

Costs associated with orders and proposal Application fee for accreditation as a site auditor Accreditation as a site auditor
$99 per hour $1,186 $8,286

 

13 May 2020 - No.24

The PFAS NEMP 2.0 has been published

The PFAS National Environmental Management Plan version 2.0 (NEMP) was released by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture Water and Environment on 5 May 2020. The PFAS NEMP 2.0 has been endorsed for use in NSW and supersedes the first version published in 2018.

The PFAS NEMP establishes a practical basis for nationally consistent guidance and standards for managing PFAS contamination. The plan has been developed by all jurisdictions and recognises the need for implementation of best practice regulation through individual jurisdictional mechanisms. It represents a how-to guide for the investigation and management of PFAS contamination and waste management.

New and revised guidance has been included on four of the areas that were identified as urgent priorities in the first version of the NEMP:

  • Environmental guideline values
  • Soil reuse
  • Wastewater management
  • On-site containment

This new guidance, and clarifications regarding the intent of some of the PFAS NEMP 1.0 material, was developed by the National Chemicals Working Group across 2018 and considered by Heads of EPAs and Environment Ministers in late 2018.

More information on the PFAS NEMP 2.0 can be found on the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture Water and Environment website.

Transfer of clause 6 of SEPP 55 to Ministerial Direction 2.6

On 17 April 2020, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces approved the removal of clause 6 from State Environmental Planning Policy No 55 – Remediation of Land (SEPP 55) and transfer the requirements to a Ministerial direction (No 2.6) under section 9.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The Ministerial direction has been drafted with the same requirements and rigour of clause 6 to consider contamination and remediation of land when preparing a planning proposal that involves rezoning or allowing an additional land use that may increase the risk to human health or the environment from contamination.

Transferring the requirements of clause 6 to a Ministerial Direction provides certainty that a planning authority is required to appropriately consider contamination and remediation at any time before the planning proposal is finalised, and not necessarily before gateway assessment. This amendment will provide consistency with the intention of the Gateway assessment, the Department of Planning and Environment's guide to preparing planning proposals and the Managing Land Contamination: Planning Guidelines SEPP 55 - Remediation of Land (1998).

Minor changes to statutory guidelines

The 'Assessment and management of hazardous ground gases' and 'Consultants reporting on contaminated land' were recently published as statutory guidelines. We have become aware of some usability issues affecting these documents and we are currently updating these to provided a better user experience. These changes mainly include accessibility improvements for people with impaired vision and formatting changes.

The changes fall under section 105 (4A) of the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 and section 12 of the Contaminated Land Management Regulation 2013 as being minor amendments of a machinery nature. No changes will be made to the content.

The updated versions of the guidelines will be gazetted and published in the coming weeks, followed by another newsletter update.

Site Auditor Meeting - 3 April 2020: Documents have been published

The EPA holds meetings for all accredited site auditors twice a year. The presentations and minutes from 3 April 2020 are now available on the NSW Site auditor scheme webpage.

 
7 April 2020 - No.23

Updated statutory guidelines have been published

The new 'Consultants reporting on contaminated land: Contaminated Land Guidelines' have been published following public consultation. The new guidelines replace the 'Guidelines for Consultants Reporting on Contaminated Sites', NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, 2011.

The guidelines are made under section 105 of the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997, making them statutory. Statutory guidelines must be considered by:

  • the EPA
  • accredited site auditors
  • contaminated land consultants
  • those with a duty to report contamination to the EPA.

The new guidelines have also been published in a protected Microsoft Word format. This allows the items in Section 2 to be 'checked' as the user completes each reporting checklist.

Public consultation

Public consultation was open for six weeks in 2019. All comments received were considered and changes have been made where necessary. Information on the comments and changes made have been published in the 'Summary of submissions and EPA responses'.

Reminder: Draft EPA Financial Assurance Policy is out for public consultation

We are seeking feedback on how the EPA will require and estimate financial assurances under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997, and the Radiation Control Act 1990.

The draft Policy and accompanying Guideline are available for comment on the EPA's 'Have Your Say' platform. Consultation closes 14 April 2020.

Site Auditor Meeting - April 2020

The biannual meeting for NSW Accredited Site Auditors was held on Friday 3 April 2020. The minutes and presentations from this meeting will be uploaded to the Site Auditor Scheme webpage in the coming weeks and will be featured in a future CLM Update.

9 March 2020 - No.22

Have your say: Draft EPA Financial Assurance Policy for managing potential environmental liabilities

The EPA is seeking feedback on how it will require and estimate financial assurances under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997, and the Radiation Control Act 1990.

Why is the EPA proposing to manage potential environmental liabilities?

Without appropriate financial security, for some facilities and industries, the liabilities associated with cleaning up pollution and remediation may fall to the NSW Government and community if the polluter does not pay. Environmental liabilities may arise from pollution or contamination from current or historical activities.

The EPA has existing powers to require those responsible for pollution or contamination to provide a financial assurance to secure funding for clean-up costs and to provide an independent assessment of these costs. The EPA has developed a draft policy and guideline to provide greater certainty and transparency in this area.

The EPA’s proposal for managing potential environmental liabilities

The EPA is seeking feedback on its:

Do the draft policy and guideline apply to me?

The EPA has the discretion to require a financial assurance but it is not mandatory for every regulated party. A risk-based approach is proposed for deciding whether a financial assurance is likely to be required.

Financial assurances will usually only be applied to medium or high-risk activities that may result in environmental liabilities. Financial assurances already provided to the EPA or other public authority for the same action will be taken into account.

Information sessions

Information sessions will be held in Sydney and online on:

  • 17 March 2020, 10am to 12pm - for waste sector stakeholders regulated by the EPA
  • 17 March 2020, 2pm to 4pm - for other parties regulated by the EPA
  • 19 March 2020, 10am to 12pm - for consultants and auditors
  • 19 March 2020, 2pm to 4pm - for other interested stakeholders

Please register for these sessions by 13 March 2020.

How can I have my say?

The EPA invites submissions on the draft policy and guideline until 14 April 2020. Please visit the EPA public consultation website for further information.

The EPA's head office has moved

The EPA's head office is now located in Parramatta. Please note and update your records with the following:

Physical address

4 Parramatta Square, 12 Darcy Street
Parramatta NSW 2150


Postal address
Locked Bag 5022
Parramatta NSW 2124

 

New Contaminated Land Guidelines are coming soon

The draft 'Consultants Reporting on Contaminated Land Guidelines' went out for public consultation last year. We are still making changes based on comments received to ensure the guidelines are strong and effective.

The guidelines are expected to be finalised late March to early April 2020. We will notify you with another newsletter once they have been published.

20 December 2019 - No.21
 New statutory guidelines have been published

The 'Assessment and management of hazardous ground gas: Contaminated Land Guidelines' have been published in the NSW Government Gazette (No. 182 of 20 December 2019) following public consultation. They replace the 'Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Sites Impacted by Hazardous Ground Gases' (NSW EPA, 2012).

These guidelines are made under section 105 of the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997, making them statutory. Statutory guidelines must be considered by:

  • the EPA
  • accredited site auditors
  • contaminated land consultants
  • those with a duty to report contamination to the EPA.

Public consultation

Public consultation occurred from August to October this year. All comments received were considered and changes have been made where necessary. Information on the comments and changes have been published in the 'Summary of submissions and EPA responses'.

The draft version of the guidelines were released alongside the draft 'Consultants reporting on contaminated land: Contaminated Land Guidelines', which are expected to be finalised early 2020.

Site auditor meetings

The EPA holds meetings for all accredited site auditors twice a year. The presentations and minutes will now be published on the NSW Site auditor scheme webpage.

25 October 2019

 

30 September 2019

Reminder: the EPA is seeking feedback on two draft guidelines

Public consultation closing soon

The NSW EPA is seeking feedback on updated guidelines for

Consultation will close midnight 8 October 2019.

The new guidelines are expected to be finalised and published in late 2019.

How to have your say

You can download and submit feedback on the draft guidelines through the NSW EPA 'Have your say' page.

If you have any questions on the consultation process, please call the Environment Line on 131 555 or email CLM.Consultation@epa.nsw.gov.au.

Renewal of Class 1 Exemption Orders for UPSS

The exemption for persons responsible for underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS) that are used to store heating or waste oil, or fuel for a back-up generator (Class 1 Exemptions) has been extended to 31 August 2021. An exemption for these types of UPSS sites has existed since the original Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2008.

The ongoing exemption allows for the transition of responsibility for other types of UPSS to councils and to allow the EPA to conduct a review and risk assessment of these types of UPSS to better inform any future decision making to best manage and/or regulate them.

EPA Out-and-About

EPA staff have been out and about, hosting or providing information on contaminated land issues at workshops and forums around the state, with more to come.

UPSS workshops for council officers

Since mid-August, nine capacity building workshops have been held across Sydney, Queanbeyan, Kiama, Newcastle, Armidale, Griffith, Ballina, and Coffs Harbour. Over 200 council officers have attended so far. These 1-day 'face-to-face' workshops provide council officers with information, knowledge, and skills to effectively regulate UPSS sites in their local areas. Council officers who now have responsibility for regulating UPSS sites are encourages to attend.

Upcoming sessions

Location Date
Dubbo 22 October
Broken Hill 24 October
Bathurst 29 October
Wagga Wagga 6 November
Liverpool 20 November

 
Contact UPSSReg@epa.nsw.gov.au for information on how to register.

Department of Planning, Industry & Environment Information Forums 2019

Information Forums for councils are being held at various locations around the state to discuss key developments in planning policy in NSW. The EPA is presenting on contaminated land matters, including an overview of the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 framework at most of the forums.

Since July, 17 sessions have been held across Wyong, Singleton, Molong, Nyngan, Wilcannia, Wakeley, Lane Cove, Drummoyne, Dee Why, West Wyalong, Young, Lockhart, Deniliquin, Balranald, Picton, Campbelltown, and Norwest.

Upcoming sessions

Location Date Address
Georges River Council 15 October Cnr MacMahon and Dora Streets, Hurstville
Blue Mountains City Council 17 October 2-6 Civic Place, Katoomba
Snowy Monaro Regional Council 22 October 81 Commissioner Street, Cooma
Kiama Municipal Council 24 October 11 Manning Street, Kiama
Gunnedah Shire Council 29 October 63 Elgin Street, Gunnedah
Walgett Shire Council 31 October 77 Fox Street, Walgett
Inverell Shire Council 4 November 144 Otho Street, Inverell
Kempsey Shire Council 6 November 22 Tozer Street, West Kempsey
Byron Shire Council 8 November 70 Station Street, Mullumbimby

 
These forums are for council employees only. Council officers can register for the upcoming sessions online.

CRC CARE CleanUp Conference 2019 in Adelaide

The CleanUp 2019 Conference was held across 8 - 12 September. It was the 8th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference, incorporating the 2nd International PFAS Conference.

The NSW EPA gave a presentation on 'An Adaptive Approach to Communication Engagement to Management Legacy Asbestos in a Residential Setting', which was well received and generated a lot of post-presentation discussion.

Asbestos and Hazardous Materials Consultants Association (AHCA) Forum

The Asbestos in Soils Forum was held on 24 September by the newly formed Asbestos and Hazardous Materials Consultants Association (AHCA).

The EPA presented on asbestos in soils management under the Contaminated Land Management and Waste frameworks.

Australian Land and Groundwater Association (ALGA) Seminar - Asbestos in soil assessment and regulation

The Australian Land and Groundwater Association (ALGA) Seminar will be held on 9 October. Experts from ALGA's asbestos special interest group will present on the latest developments in the management and remediation of asbestos, including a risk-based approach.

The EPA will give an overview on the NSW Asbestos Coordination Committee (NACC) and a summary of the EPA's response to ALGA's position paper on asbestos in soils.

You can register to attend the event online.

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