Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

The Contaminated Land Management Program

The Environmental Trust makes $2 million available to the NSW Environment Protection Authority each year through the Contaminated Land Management Program (CLM Program). The CLM Program supports the investigation and remediation of a variety of sites that may pose a significant risk of harm to the environment. 

The program aims to:

  1. Protect the environment and human health by facilitating remediation of significantly contaminated land that would not otherwise be cleaned up in a timely or efficient manner due to limited funding, knowledge and expertise.
  2. Build the capacity of regional NSW to prevent and manage the environmental liability of contaminated sites.

 

Background and objectives

Contaminated sites can pose a risk to human health and the environment. Unless they are effectively managed, they can be a source of ongoing pollution of aquifers and waterways, degrading habitats, hampering the beneficial use of natural resources, preventing the development of land and threatening water security.

The CLM Program was originally established by the Environmental Trust in 2001 to provide financial assistance for the remediation of significant contamination legacies that were not amenable to resolution using available regulatory tools under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act).  Funding was provided to legacy sites where, without external funding, harm would continue or worsen, and the clean-up would be significantly delayed or potentially not occur at all. 

The CLM Program initially focused on sites where existing site owners did not cause the contamination on their properties and did not have the resources to remediate – see Innocent Owners, the first project of the program.  In 2005, the program was expanded to include investigation and remediation of council gasworks sites such as Tarcutta Street Gasworks, Wagga Wagga, which aimed to assist councils to remediate former gasworks sites for which they were legally responsible under the CLM Act.

Since 2011–12 the CLM Program has also included a pilot program to investigate the scale of derelict underground petroleum storage system (UPSS) issues and remediation and long-term funding options. Under the current CLM Program the UPSS program has been limited to Council Road Reserves.

The current CLM Program also includes complementary capacity-building programs such as the Regional Capacity Building Program and the Regional Acceleration Program to ensure that responsible land managers in rural areas have the capacity to deal with contaminated land management issues in the long term. The capacity building program will support councils’ role as a development consent authority (where land might be affected by contamination), as an operational manager of council land, as a local technical resource for the community, and also help to address some of the obstacles to cleaning up contamination legacies in regional and rural areas.

Decision-making and governance

The overall management of the CLM Program is primarily held within the NSW EPA Contaminated Sites Portfolio, with the program manager guided by the advice of the Contaminated Land Management Steering Committee (CLMSC) and the technical specialists from the EPA’s Contaminated Sites section.

Contaminated Land Management Steering Committee

The CLMSC provides advice on policy and direction for the CLM Program, financial and governance oversight and has the power to make decisions as well as approve and/or reject funding decisions and actions put forward by the program manager. The members are representatives from the key stakeholder groups and the group continually reviews the funding allocations across the sub-programs to optimise scheduling and expenditure of the CLM Program.

Membership of the steering committee

Member category/organisation Representative
Chair Sarah Gardner, Executive Director Hazardous Incidents and Environmental Health, NSW EPA
Local Government NSW Susy Cenedese, Strategy Manager
NSW Health Adam Capon, Principal Advisor, Environmental Health Branch
Environmental law expert Jeff Smith
Accredited CLM site auditor Kylie Lloyd, Zoic Environmental Pty Ltd
Remediation/industry expert Mark Murrie, Asia Pacific Remediation Manager, BP
Community representative Robert Verhey

Grants awarded 2014–16

Recipient Project Project summary

Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils (RAMROC)/Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC)

Regional Capacity Building Program Increasing capacity and assistance for the management of contaminated sites in RAMROC/REROC local government areas.
Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo and Central NSW Salinity and Water Quality Alliance Regional Capacity Building Program Increasing capacity and assistance for the management of contaminated sites in BOD/Central SWQA local government areas.
Mid North Coast Regional Organisation of Councils (MIDROC) Regional Capacity Building Program Increasing capacity and assistance for the management of contaminated sites in MIDROC local government areas.
Hunter Councils Regional Capacity Building Program Increasing capacity and assistance for the management of contaminated sites in Hunter Councils local government areas.
Gunnedah Shire Council Additional remediation Remediating five sites with underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS) within the Gunnedah local government area.
Cowra Council Additional investigations Investigating contamination at the former gasworks site in Cowra.
Wingecarribee Shire Council Additional investigations Investigating contamination at the former gasworks in Bowral.

Sub-programs

Sub-programs within the Contaminated Land Management Program aim to assist in the remediation of identified contaminated sites and the identification and assessment of potentially contaminated sites. Visit the sub-programs page for more detail.

More information

The CLM Program is invitation only. If you require further information about the program please contact the CLM Program Manager at contaminated.sites@epa.nsw.gov.au.

Page last updated: 04 October 2016