Site contamination frameworks
The Environment Protection Act 1993 provides provisions and regulatory instruments that enables the EPA to regulate those responsible for site contamination.
The Site contamination regulatory framework (2022) and Orphaned site contamination management framework (2022) supersede the Regulatory and orphan site management framework (2017).
The updated frameworks reflect process improvements and provide distinction between the regulation of site contamination for which a responsible party is identified, and the management of orphaned site contamination.
The SC Regulatory framework details the process the EPA will generally use to regulate and progress the assessment and remediation of site contamination, and provides details of the way in which the EPA:
- reviews and processes information relating to site contamination
- determines the regulatory priority of a site
- implements either a non-statutory or statutory agreement
- regulates the non-compliance of an agreement, and
- manages the reduction in regulatory involvement.
It is primarily for use by the EPA, and is publicly available to provide greater transparency of the regulatory process to those with liability for site contamination, and for site contamination professionals undertaking assessment and or remediation of site contamination. It has industry wide recognition and is used by the site contamination professional community to inform clients of their obligations.
Orphaned site contamination management framework
The Orphaned site contamination management framework or OSCM framework details how assessment and remediation of orphaned site contamination is prioritised and actioned by the EPA based on the public health risk. The management of orphaned site contamination serves as an example to industry of how the EPA applies state and national guidance to meet regulatory goals in order to safeguard human health.
The EPA is recognised nationally by the site contamination industry and interstate regulatory jurisdictions as the leader in best practice management of orphaned site contamination.
The EPA takes a risk-based approach for the assessment and remediation of groundwater contamination to ensure the protection of human health and the environment.
This allows for a site to be remediated to a level that matches the future intended land use, for example industrial, commercial or high density residential use.
While it is not economically feasible to remediate every contaminated site, the EPA prioritises sites that are contaminated to an extent they present a potential public health or ecological risk.
Where there is no person liable to undertake the work, the EPA will conduct the environmental assessment and engage with all affected owners and occupiers of the land in an assessment area. Where there is a liable party, the EPA’s role is to regulate the person liable to undertake the work and engagement with the community.
- Assessment areas
- Guidelines for the assessment and remediation of site contamination
- Site contamination: guideline for communication and engagement
If you have any questions please contact the Site Contamination Branch on (08) 8204 9934.