An independent auditor is needed when planning authorities, councils, investors and other parties want confirmation that a potentially contaminated site is suitable for a proposed use. An auditor can be essential when land is moving to a more sensitive use such as when industrial land is being developed for residential apartments.
Land contamination – a complex science
Land contamination can impact property values and development options. When land has been used for activities that are known to cause contamination such as fuel storage, industrial processing, market gardening and imported fill, it is important to determine the nature and extent of any contamination and, if necessary, implement remedial actions that will make the land suitable for the current or proposed use.
Land contamination is complex. Contaminants can impact air, soil and groundwater. Some contaminants are persistent and some move rapidly through the environment and present risks to neighbouring properties. Land contamination specialists can determine the nature and extent of contamination, assess the potential risks to human health and the environment, and develop and validate remediation actions that are undertaken to clean up contaminated land.
Auditing for added assurance
Independent site auditors review reports on contaminated land assessment, remediation, and validation actions to ensure the methodology and data interpretation is appropriate and complies with current standards and regulatory requirements.
Auditing the work of contaminated land consultants gives added assurance that assessments and/or remediation actions are suitable for the proposed land use and that there will be no adverse health or environmental effects.
EPA site auditor scheme
The NSW EPA instituted the site auditor scheme to improve access to competent technical advice on contaminated land investigation and remediation. The EPA and planning authorities may require an auditor to sign-off of on contaminated land investigation documents for a DA or clean up action.
When do you need an auditor?
Site audits can be statutory or non-statutory. Statutory audits may be required to comply with a DA condition or directed by a regulatory agency in response to a pollution event. Most audits are statutory in nature, however, non-statutory audits may be completed for due diligence purposes, to establish contractual obligations, or even for ‘value add’ purposes when taking a property to market.
Engaging an auditor will ensure your project is completed to the appropriate EPA and local government standards. If you require further information or advice contact David Gregory, accredited auditor in NSW, Queensland, ACT and NT on 02 9979 1722.