The Australian Government’s National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure [NEP(ASC)M] sets out how contamination must be tested across Australia. The NEP(ASC)M lists concentrations of chemicals in soil, Health Investigation Levels (HIL), above which further health investigation and evaluation are required.
To determine whether a site is safe for future use, the EPA has an established audit system. A statutory environmental audit provides for an environmental auditor appointed under the Environment Protection Act 1970, to undertake an independent assessment of the condition of a site and form an opinion about its suitability for the proposed use.
An audit of the condition of a site may result in issuing either:
- a Certificate of Environmental Audit that indicates the auditor believes the site is suitable for any beneficial use and that there is no restriction on use of the site due to its environmental condition or
- a Statement of Environmental Audit that indicates that the auditor believes there is, or may be, some restriction on use of the site due to its environmental condition. A Statement may include conditions that require remediation works to be undertaken or places ongoing requirements on the site. A Statement might also indicate that a site is not suitable for any use, in which case the EPA will usually issue a Notice to require clean up or management of that site.