Annual Report 2010-2011 National Environment Protection Council
Tabled paper 1729
Tabled Papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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National Environmental Protection Council annual report 2 0 1 0 2 0 1 1 149 Q ld A SSE SSM E N T O F SIT E C O N TA M IN A T IO N Queensland Report to the NEPC on the implementation of the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure for Queensland by the Hon. Vicky Darling MP, Minister for Environment, for the reporting year ended 30 June 2011. accordance with Schedule B10 of the NEPM. TPRs independently oversee the work of contaminated land consultants to ensure that a high standard of remediation work is achieved. Thirteen DERM-appointed TPRs are currently approved for practice in Queensland subject to DERMs requirements, including six auditors accredited in NSW and Victoria. Seven TPRs carry out the majority of site assessment review to ensure standards are in accordance with the NEPM guidance. The number of appointments of TPRs for individual sites has fallen by 30% compared to the previous financial year. This may, in part, reflect decreased activity in the property market and the deferment of some major development projects which have obtained development approval for up to three years, until the property market improves. There has also be a trend in the final quarter of the year to change or defer previously approved developments as a result of cost and demand pressures and reduce the development size, e.g. reducing development footprint. PART 2 ASSESSMENT OF NEPM EFFECTIVENESS The NEPM has been adopted as a central reference document for assessment of site contamination in Queensland, supported by Queenslands guidelines on contaminated land. Its use is well established in contaminated land practices, leading to effective and practical site and development outcomes. The use of the NEPM by contaminated land practitioners is mandated by DERM through the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) and SP Act and by TPRs in auditing site assessment work. All applications to DERM for statutory decisions about site contamination and altering the status of land on the EMR/ CLR must demonstrate compliance with the NEPM. DERM seeks additional information to clarify compliance issues relating to the NEPM when necessary prior to altering the register status of land. Implementation of the general provisions of the NEPM is limited by the lack of adequate guidance for particular common types of contamination. This includes limited guidance for petroleum hydrocarbon compounds and fragments of cement bonded asbestos that are commonly encountered on contaminated sites. DERM has continued active participation in the finalisation of the NEPM variation which is due for completion and final NEPC consideration in the PART 1 IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEPM AND ANY SIGNIFICANT ISSUES The Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) is the central administering authority for contaminated land in Queensland. Local government is the assessment manager for the majority of developments, including the separation and direction to DERM of applications that involve contamination issues. In addition, local government plays an important role in notifying DERM of land with potential contamination issues for listing on the Environmental Management Register (EMR). The following relevant operational data estimates associated with NEPM implementation were collected in the reporting period 20102011. 88 site assessment and validation reports, many involving multiple sites, were reviewed for compliance with NEPM section 6(13) and (14) prior to statutory decisions regarding Environmental Management Register and Contaminated Land Register (EMR/CLR) status of the subject land including reports submitted under the Third Party Reviewer (TPR system). Approximately 22 of these reports were directly audited by DERM. Additional information under notices was sought from the submitters in 15 cases requiring demonstration that the work was conducted using NEPM processes. 407 development applications were forwarded to DERM under the Sustainable Planning Act (SP Act) conditions for contaminated land issues relating to material change of use or lot reconfiguration of contaminated or potentially contaminated land. Of these applications, approximately 90 were directly conditioned to manage contamination, and additional site assessment information was sought for the remaining 70 development sites. 41 sites were finalised as being adequately assessed according to the NEPM, decontaminated, and removed from the EMR. 42 Site Management Plans were issued for development or use of a site, including those that were assessed and partially decontaminated with management of residual contamination for restricted land uses. 101 permits were issued for the transport and disposal of contaminated soil in accordance with NEPM section 6(4). 65 sites were placed under audit by Third Party Reviewers (TPRs) appointed under DERMs Operational Policy for Third Party Review (TPR) in