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The land within Canterbury-Bankstown has many different uses including residential, commercial and industrial land uses.
Although contaminated sites can occur anywhere, they are typically clustered in areas which have been used for heavy industry. Some of these industrial uses can cause land to become contaminated due to generation of waste products and through the use and/or storage of chemicals.
Contaminated land can have major economic, legal and planning implications for the community. Contamination may limit land use potential or increase costs for developers.
The investigation and clean-up of contaminated land is important to protect human health and the environment.
Section 5 of the land contamination planning guidelines contains information on the use of section 149 planning certificates under the EP&A Act. In summary, s.149(2) planning certificates must record that:
The land is declared significantly contaminated by the EPA under the CLM Act;
The land is subject to management order issued by the EPA under the CLM Act;
A voluntary management proposal for a site has been approved;
The land is subject to an ongoing maintenance order; and
The land is the subject of a site audit statement if a copy of such a statement has been provided.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA), which uses its powers under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act) to deal with site contamination that is significant enough to warrant regulation under the Act given the site's current or approved use.
The planning and development control process under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) is important in the management of land contamination. It aims to ensure that land is not allowed to be put to a use that is inappropriate because of the presence of contamination and incorporates mechanisms to ensure that:
Land remediation is facilitated and controlled through State Environmental Planning Policy 55 - Remediation of Land (SEPP55);
Managing Land Contamination: Planning Guidelines: SEPP55 - Remediation of Land ; and
NSW EPA website.
Site Auditors are experts who can provide an independent review of the work of a primary consultant conducted for all types of contaminated sites.