Potentially Contaminated Land
In NSW, responsibility for the management of contaminated land is shared by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), the Department of Planning & Infrastructure (DoPI) and Councils as the consent authorities for planning matters.
Under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 DECCW regulates contaminated sites where the contamination is significant enough to warrant regulation.
Contaminated sites that are not regulated by the OEH are managed by local councils through land-use planning processes.
The planning and development control process, under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, is important in the management of land contamination.
When considering development applications, Council must be satisfied that there is no contamination of the land that poses any risk to human health. If a preliminary site investigation indicates such a risk may be present, a detailed site contamination investigation and remediation plan will be required to accompany the development application.
Local councils also provide information about land contamination on planning certificates that they issue under section 149 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
Land remediation is facilitated and controlled through State Environmental Planning Policy 55 - Remediation of Land (SEPP55).
Contaminated land may have restrictions as to what may be done with the land. Some types of contamination are required to be removed immediately if they are likely to affect public health or the environment. Contamination remediation is costly, both financially and environmentally and therefore all measures should be taken to prevent contamination. The most effective way is to ensure all waste, liquid and solid, is disposed of correctly and does not come into contact with the land.
Council maintains a register of potentially contaminated land within the Uralla Shire.
Uralla Shire Council Development Control Plan Number 8 provides information on contaminated or potentially contaminated lands. This system ensures that adequate information is available to staff and the community, specifically through the provision of certificates under section 149 of the EP&A Act.
Council determined that all rural land zoned 1(a) &1(b) were potentially contaminated due to their previous horticultural/agricultural uses.