Managing contaminated sites

10 Jul 2014

This audit assessed how well the risks associated with contaminated sites in New South Wales are being managed.

Executive summary

Effective management of contaminated land makes an important contribution to the government’s goal to ‘Protect our natural environment’; Goal 22 of the State Government’s ‘NSW 2021: A plan to make NSW number one’.

The Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act) establishes a framework for the regulation and management of land that becomes significantly contaminated. The Act gives the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) powers to require the investigation and management of sites where contamination is significant enough to warrant regulation.

This audit assessed how well the risks associated with contaminated sites are being managed. It examined the EPA’s regulation of contaminated sites on both private and public land under the CLM Act. It also examined the management of contaminated sites by government agencies on their land.

It focused on the Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services (DTIRIS), which is the largest landholder by area and extensively involved in the management of a range of contaminated sites. This detailed examination was supplemented by a survey of over 30 large landholding government agencies in New South Wales and their management arrangements for dealing with contaminated sites.

This audit draws upon the December 2013 Auditor-General’s Report to Parliament and previous reports that raised concerns regarding the management of contaminated sites.

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