Situation: The owners of a Queensland property with a former sheep spray race, commissioned Geo-Logix to conduct soil contamination investigations to understand the extent of contamination. The owners wanted to graze cattle on the property and needed to know the contamination status for NORM classification.
The property is around 2000ha and investigations centred on a 1613sqm-fenced area containing the spray race.
Action: Geo-Logix sampled soil in 15 locations within the fenced area and two locations outside the fence. They analysed the samples for contaminants of potential concern (COPC) associated with sheep spray races including OCPs, organophosphate pesticides (OPPs) and heavy metals.
Result: Geo-Logix’s sampling and analysis found no OCPs or OPPs present in the soil and no heavy metals apart from localised arsenic. Arsenic is not a residue of concern for livestock sale and Geo-Logix estimated the risk to grazing cattle was negligible considering the area available for grazing and the option of keeping the problem area fenced.
The Geo-Logix report recommended the property have a NORM-clear status eliminating the need for cattle testing.
Environmental Management Register (EMR) listing
The Environmental Protection Act 1994 considers sheep spray races to be a notifiable activity. Properties containing spray races are listed on the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) Environmental Management Register (EMR).
To remove the property from the EMR the owners would require remediation of the arsenic contamination with verification in a Contaminated Land Investigation Document (CLID) audited by an independent auditor.