Land can become contaminated as a result of industrial or commercial activities, accidental leaks or spills, and illegal dumping of wastes. Contaminants can include pesticides, heavy metals, chemicals, solvents, petroleum products and asbestos.
Contamination can make the land unsuitable for its current and future use, harm the environment and be extremely expensive to clean-up.
Preventing Land Contamination
- Store hazardous materials in correctly segregated, bunded and covered areas to prevent the escape of leaks or spills
- Ensure that underground storage systems are correctly installed and maintained
- Check storage areas regularly for signs of leaks or spills
- Ensure that hazardous materials are handled appropriately to prevent contamination
- Develop an emergency response procedure for accidental spills
- Keep spill clean-up materials in a handy place ready for use
- Ensure that wastes are sent to facilities that can lawfully receive them
- Do not accept fill onto your land unless it has been appropriately validated - see the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA)'s Accepting Fill on your land.
Duty to Report Contamination
Under Section 60 of the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997, a person whose activities have contaminated land or a landowner whose land has been contaminated is required to notify the Office of Environment & Heritage if certain circumstances apply.
Further information on the duty to report may be obtained from the Office of Environment & Heritage on 131 555.
Remediation of Land
All remediation work must be carried out in accordance with the requirements of State Environmental Planning Policy No. 55 – Remediation of Land.
Under the Policy, development consent must be obtained before carrying out remediation work on certain environmentally sensitive land.
Where the work can be carried out without consent, written notice must be submitted to Council at least 30 days before commencement of the work.
The remediation work must be carried out in accordance with the guidelines under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 and the requirements of Council’s Contaminated Land Policy(PDF, 421KB).
Written notice must also be submitted to Council within 30 days of the completion of the work.
For further information contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on 9952 8222.