The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has produced new draft guidelines for the design of sampling strategies in the assessment of contaminated land. The new guidelines will replace the current sampling design guidelines, released in 1995, to support and build on the nationally consistent approach set out in the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 1999.
The guidelines will help consultants to design sampling for contaminated sites with respect to where samples are collected, how many samples are collected, and how the data is compared to relevant criteria.
The guidelines assist contaminated land consultants, site auditors, regulators, planning authorities, landholders, developers and members of the public who have an interest in the outcomes of the assessment and management of contaminated land.
The draft guideline is open for feedback from 21 September to 8 November 2020. The NSW EPA will review all feedback and a consultation report on the outcomes will be released prior to the finalisation and release of the guidelines.
Metech Consulting is currently reviewing the guidelines and will provide feedback to the NSW EPA. Metech Consulting are committed to keeping up to date with the latest industry developments and participating in the development of new guidelines and best practices for contaminated land management.
The Metech team attended EcoForum 2020, hosted by the Australasian Land & Groundwater Association.
The 3-day annual industry event was held via e-conference this year and featured a variety of presentations from contaminated land experts around the world. Topics included: asbestos in soils and contaminants in uncontrolled fill; management of petroleum hydrocarbons in difficult geologies; PFAS source identification and remediation; vapour and gas monitoring and risk assessment; and remediation of large and complex sites.
The conference was a success, and the Metech team had an opportunity to interact with our peers to discuss industry breakthroughs and the current challenges to the land and groundwater sector.
Metech Consulting are committed to continual improvement and professional development. By keeping up to date with the latest industry news, we consider the most modern and innovative methods available when advising the best approach for our clients.
In September 2019, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) released the draft Contaminated Land Guidelines: Consultants Reporting on Contaminated Land (Consultants Guidelines) that will replace the existing Guidelines for Consultants Reporting on Contaminated Sites (2011).
The draft Consultants Guidelines outline the stages of reporting on the management of contaminated land and provide checklists of reporting requirements. A reporting framework is provided to ensure that reports contain correct information in a suitable format to allow for efficient review by regulators, site auditors and other interested parties.
Key changes to the Consultants Guidelines include:
Public consultation on the draft guidelines closed on 8 October 2019. The guidelines are likely to be finalised and published in late March / early April 2020.
Metech Consulting was approached by a company seeking large quantities of fill material to rehabilitate and revitalise a historic industrial facility in the Illawarra region, with minimal funding to do so.
Metech developed a solution to enable the importation of materials derived from off-site sources.
Under the provisions of the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014, the NSW EPA has the authority to grant Resource Recovery Exemptions which allow for specific types of waste to be used for purposes other than disposal, where it can be demonstrated that the use of the material is a bona-fide, fit-for-purpose, reuse opportunity.
Metech prepared an application for a Specific Resource Recovery Exemption on behalf of our client, which was subsequently approved through Metech’s successful negotiation and agreement with the NSW EPA. The Exemption was designed to enable our client to receive material from various off-site sources based on specific physical and chemical property requirements.
The importation process has been successfully implemented over the past year, providing our client with both the materials needed to revitalise previously redundant assets at the facility and a revenue stream through the importation of fill materials.
Metech’s solution enabled our client to realise future commercial opportunities, as well as providing excellent environmental outcomes by circumventing the material from landfill through genuine, best-practice waste minimisation.
To learn more about what environmental solutions Metech Consulting can provide for your business, contact an expert at Metech.
The NSW EPA published the ‘Assessment and Management of Hazardous Ground Gas: Contaminated Land Guidelines’ in late 2019. The new guidelines replace the ‘Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Sites Impacted by Hazardous Ground Gases’ (NSW EPA, 2012).
This second edition of the guidelines is timely as practitioners in NSW have gained substantial experience working with the 2012 guidelines. There have been significant changes to other relevant guidance documents since 2012, including:
The guidelines have been updated to ensure consistency with these documents.
Land uses associated with the generation of hazardous ground gases include:
Hazardous ground gases may be an issue when redeveloping potentially contaminated land or development adjacent to such land.
Do you require a contamination assessment as part of a development approval? Are you looking for an innovative approach to contamination assessment and management? The qualified and experienced professionals at Metech Consulting focus on site-specific, cost-effective solutions to solve contamination challenges and provide our clients with the advice they need. Contact us with your enquiry here.
10 years since their original publication, the WA Guidelines for the Assessment, Remediation and Management of Asbestos-Contaminated Sites are undergoing a 2020 update.
The original guidelines are widely respected for pioneering consistent procedures and protocols to quantify and manage asbestos in soil. At the time of their publication, most adopted asbestos management standards related to asbestos safety in the workplace, rather than its management as a contaminant in the environment. The National Environment Protection Council endorsed the Western Australia protocols within the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 2013 – a testament to the need for a practical and standardised approach to managing asbestos in soil.
The draft guidelines (released in November 2019) contain the following distinct updates:
Authors of the draft have expressed that intended outcomes for the guidelines are to allow innovation, greater engagement, more effective risk communication and smarter remediation.
Comments and enquiry submissions are due by 6 March 2020 with an estimated mid-year release date.
Looking for practical remediation solutions? Seeking an innovative approach to contamination management? The experienced environmental practitioners at Metech Consulting focus on site-specific, cost-effective solutions to solve contamination challenges and provide our clients with the advice they need. Contact us with your enquiry here.