Metech Consulting were recently engaged by a residential property owner in Bundeena, NSW who was looking to modify their existing beachfront dwelling. Metech Consulting undertook an acid sulfate soils assessment to support their development application.
The assessment began with a desktop review, from which a sampling program was designed and implemented based on the proposed development. The assessment determined that acid sulfate soils were present at the property, but were located outside of the development area. Therefore, Metech Consulting concluded that acid sulfate soils at the property did not require further assessment or management to facilitate the proposed development.
Metech Consulting is a Sutherland Shire-based business with extensive knowledge of the local environment and experience preparing acid sulfate soil assessment and management reports for submission to Sutherland Shire Council. This knowledge and experience allows us to design our assessments to the specific requirements of the subject site and Council expectations.
If you require an acid sulfate soils assessment, management plan or advice regarding acid sulfate soils to support a development application, contact an expert at Metech Consulting.
acid sulfate soils, development consent, environmental consultants, sutherland shire
Metech Consulting was engaged by a private company who sought development consent to redevelop a former commercial manufacture facility into a modern, artisan food and drinks premises (micro-brewery) in Brookvale, NSW.
Council records indicated an underground fuel tank was installed at the property in the 1970s and Northern Beaches Council required a contamination assessment to determine the suitability of the site for the proposed development.
Metech Consulting undertook a preliminary site investigation to assess all historical land use activities associated with the site and surrounding area, including further investigation of the potential fuel infrastructure.
Metech Consulting then designed and implemented a detailed site investigation to assess the suitability of the site for the intended use, including soil and groundwater assessments. The investigations concluded the site was suitable for the proposed and intended use. Metech Consulting were able to provide the detailed site investigation report within just 3 weeks of engagement by the client.
The Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) and Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) reports were submitted to Council to meet the consent conditions. Council approval the development application within one week of submission of the reports, allowing the client to progress with the fit-out and use of the site as a micro-brewery.
Our team of experienced and qualified staff were able to provide a value-for-money, practical solution in an exceptionally short timeframe, allowing our client to progress their development and start their new business.
If you require a preliminary site investigation and/or detailed site investigation or advice regarding contamination to meet development consent conditions, contact an expert at Metech Consulting.
contamination assessment, detailed site investigation, development consent, environmental consultants, preliminary site investigation
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.
contaminated land, contamination assessment, environmental consultants, NSW EPA
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.
contaminated land, environmental consultants, environmental solutions
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).
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.
changes to the Consultants Guidelines include:
- New stages: Two new stages are included in the reporting
and analysis quality plan: This new stage requires documentation of the
planning process for collecting and evaluating data during the subject site
investigation. The plans should vary in detail according to the scope and level
of information available to the consultant and must be flexible to account for
changes arising during site investigations.
specific risk assessments and modelling: The draft guidelines outline
reporting requirements for site-specific risk assessments, such as Human Health
Risk Assessments and Ecological Risk Assessments. A tiered approach is recommended, with modelling
to predict environmental concentrations where required. When undertaking
modelling, the guidelines advise that consultants should clearly describe
assumptions and uncertainties.
- New requirements for existing stages: Further details are provided on existing
stages such as long-term site management and monitoring. Monitoring reports must include: a background
to the site (including a conceptual site model); justification for any
departures from the required monitoring plan; and consideration of
site-specific criteria which may trigger additional remediation work.
- Duty to report: Following a preliminary site
investigation or detailed site investigation, the draft guidelines advise that consultants
should take reasonable steps to draw their client’s attention to any potential
duty to report contamination as required under section 60 of the Contaminated
Land Management Act 1997 (NSW).
- Remedial action plans (RAPs): Guidance
on what is to be included in a RAP has been expanded and clarified. RAPs must
findings of preliminary and detailed site investigations;
identified contamination risks to human health and/or the environment;
remediation objectives to ensure a site will be suitable for its current or
the extent of remediation required and assess options to achieve the remediation
in detail all procedures to reduce risks posted by contamination;
environmental safeguards required to complete remediation in an environmentally
necessary approvals and licences;
waste classification, handling and tracking requirements;
remediation is consistent with relevant laws, policies and guidelines;
how successful implementation of a RAP will be demonstrated; and
the need for and nature of any long term management.
- Long-term site management: The
draft guidelines state that where full clean-up is not feasible, or on-site
containment of contamination is proposed, an environmental management plan (EMP)
may be required. An EMP must address the mixing of environmental mitigation and
monitoring measures for soil, groundwater and/or hazardous ground gases
throughout an existing or proposed use. An EMP must also state its objectives
and describe the nature and location of contamination at a site and what long-term
site management is needed to ensure ongoing protection of human and
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.
contaminated land, contamination assessment, environmental consultants, NSW EPA
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:
- A focus on practicality, for example, acknowledging situations of “small scale or limited surface impact” and management options for low-risk situations, as well as the importance of responsible demolition in preventing asbestos-in-soil contamination at the source.
- An emphasis on the importance of practitioner competency through appropriate training and experience, and the importance of sound conceptual site models to interpret laboratory results in the context of the broader site investigation.
- Discussion of limitations of the widely endorsed laboratory method for asbestos trace analysis, Australian Standard AS4964.
- Potential endorsement of other internationally validated techniques, such as electron microscopy and disposition methods, when accompanied by full justification and approval by relevant regulatory bodies.
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.
asbestos in soil, environmental consultants, remediation, site contamination