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Contaminated Lands

Contamination has the potential to threaten human and environment health, and where contamination is found it may need to be remediated. Contamination may limit the use of a parcel of land into the future and may lead to increased development costs.

Contaminates can be found anywhere. In our region contamination may be linked to the current or historical use of the land, such as an industry, or on sites where chemicals are or have been stored.

In NSW the management of contaminated land is shared between the EPA, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and Councils.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is the NSW Planning Authority.

The Environment Protection Authority more commonly known as the ‘EPA’ manages and regulates the investigation, remediation, and monitoring of contaminated land, and uses powers under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act) to deal with significant contamination where management and regulation is warranted.

Where contaminated may be identified, but not considered to be significant, it is managed by Council through their role in the planning and development processes.

Reporting Contamination

Under section 60 of the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act), anyone who has caused, or their actions or activities have caused the contamination of the land, or the owner of land that has been contaminated – must report it.

Contamination is reported to the EPA, and there are a number of ways you can report contamination to the EPA

complete the contaminated land notification form and send it by either
email: RegOps.MetroRegulation@epa.nsw.gov.au
post: Contaminated Land Management, Environment Protection Authority, Locked Bag 5022, Parramatta NSW 2124

For those making a report of contamination there are Statutory Guidelines and Non-Statutory Guidelines.

Call the Environment Line on 131 555 for more information or advice.

The EPA publishes and updates a list of NSW contaminated sites notified to the EPA.

Council Priorities

The EPA, the Namoi Joint Organisation of Councils and Council have a project partnership which aims to build capacity and capability of Councils to drive actions, distribute information, and prevent and manage contamination. A link to Council Policy for the management and administration of Contaminated Lands is provided here.

Council is also identifying parcels of land where contamination has been reported.

Managing asbestos

The EPA provides guidance on managing asbestos in and on the land.

Managing Underground Petroleum Storage Systems or UPSS.

Underground petroleum storage systems can leak and contaminate the surrounding land, soil and water. This can create risks to human health and the environment and therefore is contamination.

UPSS are most common at service stations, former fuel station sites and obviously where fuel is or has been used, for example at marinas, work depots, airports, fuel stations, car dealerships, or government facilities.

Operators of UPSS must have systems in place to prevent, report, and fix leaks if they happen.

Other Types of Contamination

The EPA website provides up to date information about contamination.

Your Council Contact

For more information about contaminated lands in the Gunnedah Shire contact:

 Gunnedah Shire Council

63 Elgin Street | PO Box 63
GUNNEDAH NSW 2380

Phone: 02 6740 2100
Fax: 02 6740 2119
Email: council@infogunnedah.com.au

Funding for the Namoi Contaminated Lands Capacity Building Project is provided by the NSW Government.

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