The environmental audit system for contaminated land, provides a mechanism to assure planning and responsible authorities (e.g. councils), landholders and other stakeholders that a potential contaminated site is suitable for use; this is specifically relevant when a development commences or if a change in land use is proposed.
The majority of Australian states and territories have developed legislation, regulations and guidelines for the management of contaminated sites, in accordance with the Commonwealth framework. This comprises of a requirement to undertake environmental audits on specific projects to meet the standards of the relevant state, territory or council.
Epic Environmental’s experienced auditor and qualified technical support staff can provide independent assessment of sites, to ensure the relevant conditions relating to the project’s approval has been met.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP), manages the contaminated land auditor system in Queensland, under the ‘Environmental Protection Act 1994’.
A contaminated land auditor, is responsible for reviewing the work of a suitably qualified person, (SQP) by evaluating and certifying site investigation and validation reports and drafting the site management plans that are submitted for a decision on a land contamination matter.
Auditors provide certainty on the regulatory function performed and can assist in streamlining the decision process for land contamination matters. A complex project may benefit from an approved auditor, as they oversee and evaluate the project; certifying it at several stages.
The functions of a contaminated land auditor are performed outside of the statutory decision timeframes—which are only activated once a submission has been made.
Approved auditors for contaminated land, also carry out compliance assessment for development requiring a compliance permit under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.