Contaminated land can have major economic, legal and planning implications for the community. Contamination can limit land use potential or increase costs for developers and councils. Investigation and remediation is important to protect human health and the environment (Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), 2009).
"Contaminated Land" refers to land contaminated by hazardous substances which may pose a risk to human health and/or the environment (Dept. Environment & Resource Management, 2009).
Contaminated sites are typically clustered in areas which have been used for heavy industry or chemically intensive agriculture. They may also include residential properties, for example, from flaking of lead-based paints or excessive pesticide use. Common land uses which are known to cause contamination include service stations, cattle dips, tanneries, wood treatment sites, and landfills.
In very broad terms, the management framework for contaminated land in NSW consists of two tiers:
- The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) uses its powers under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 to deal with site contamination that is significant enough to warrant regulation given the site's current or approved use; and
- Local councils deal with other contamination under the planning and development framework, including State Environmental Planning Policy No. 55 - Remediation of Land and the Managing Land Contamination - Planning Guidelines. This type of site, although contaminated, does not pose an unacceptable risk under its current or approved use. The planning and development process will determine what remediation is needed to make the land suitable for a different use.
If you suspect contaminated land, please contact Wagga Wagga City Council for guidance on the course of action required.
Within our local government area there are contaminated sites that are currently being managed.
Wagga Wagga City Council has recently completed the remediation of the former gasworks site on Chaston St. The new Kurrajong Recycling plant is now located on this site. Monitoring of the site is continuing.
Ongoing monitoring of the former landfill site around Wiradjuri is carried out to ensure there are no health and safety concerns by the generation and emission of landfill gas.
The Gregadoo Waste Management Centre is continually monitored to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on the groundwater, surface water and air quality around the site.
The former Tarcutta St gasworks has been identified by the OEH as a site of significant contamination. The site has undergone investigation with financial assistance from the NSW Environmental Trust. It has been identified as a site that has the potential to have a detrimental impact on the environment due to its close proximity to the Murrumbidgee River. The site investigation has led to the development of a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) that provides direction for remediation of the site. Wagga Wagga City Council is committed to remediating the site and is working closely with OEH to implement the Remedial Action Plan.