While performing development works, it is important to remain aware of contamination. Contamination may be caused by certain prior land uses, chemical spills, importing contaminated fill and other avenues. Our Contaminated Land in Lake Macquarie City(PDF, 205KB) fact sheet contains further information on identifying and managing contamination during development works.
If contaminants are present, Council will require land developers to remediate the land prior to obtaining development consent. The acceptable levels of soil contaminants is in the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure.
If remediation is required, the landowner (or the polluter, if known) is responsible for the contaminated land. This includes all remediation costs and any legal implications.
Contaminated land should be handled with caution. In addition to being a potential health hazard, the handling of, removal and/or transport of contaminated land may be regulated. It is recommended to work with qualified consultants when it is suspected that contaminated land is present.
Council Officers are available to provide advice on managing contamination during development.
Residents within the Pasminco Lead Abatement Strategy area(PDF, 205KB) should contact the EPA's Waste Compliance Team on 4908 6800 to discuss management and disposal options for lead contaminated soils.
Minor and moderate contamination
Contaminated land issues are largely managed by the process described in the State Environmental Planning Policy 55 – Remediation of Land. This document provides advice on how to remediate contaminated land in NSW.
If the contaminant poses an unacceptable risk to humans or the environment, the EPA must be notified by calling 131 555 as soon as possible.
The landowner (or polluter, if known) is responsible for notifying the EPA, even if contamination occurred prior to ownership and it is an offence to not notify the EPA as soon as practicable.
If the EPA deems the site to be significantly contaminated, contamination must be managed in accordance with the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997. This Act provides detailed information on how significant contamination must be handled, along with the duty to notify and other important information.