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Integrating Resource Management

Contaminated Sites

Land contamination by human activity is a legacy which is not longer acceptable to a society seeking sustainable environmental values. The Contaminated Sites Act (2003) defines a contaminated site as any area that has a substance present above concentrations which presents or has the potential to present a risk of harm to human health or the environment.  Contaminants typically include petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, excess nutrient loading or asbestos fibre, all of which have the potential to have significant impacts on health and the environment. 

Bioscience provides contaminated site investigations using a tiered approach in accordance with the legislation and the subsequent Regulations and Contaminated Sites Management Series Guidelines (DER). 

The critical requirement of a contaminated site investigation is the careful, systematic and detailed study of past land use, substances which might cause concern, and the nature of soil and groundwater in the context of the sensitivity of the surrounding environment. This leads to the creation of a conceptual site model (CSM) that describes the possible pathways by which exposure to potential contamination may occur. This in turn defines the analytical investigations required to confirm site status.

Frequently, DER guidelines require an independent contaminated sites auditor to work with Bioscience to produce a Mandatory Auditors Report.

Detailed investigations can lead to assurance that sites are acceptable, or to the development of management plans to contain or remediate the land.