Under the Commonwealth National Environmental Protection Act 1994 and corresponding state and territory legislation, the National Environmental Protection Council (NEPC) is charged with the generation of National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM). NEPMs are a collection of national objectives intended to shape the way the environment is managed and protected. Consequently, they are one of the key determinants used by consultants, site auditors, regulators and industry as a whole to investigate and quantify environmental risks.
NEPMs can be issued to cover an array of different environmental matters including:
- air quality
- marine, estuarine and fresh water quality;
- the protection of amenity in relation to noise (but only if differences in markets for goods and services);
- general guidelines for the assessment of site contamination;
- environmental impacts associated with hazardous wastes;
- the re-use and recycling of used materials;
- motor vehicle noise and emissions.
National Environment Protection Amendment Measure 2013
In April this year, the National Environment Protection Council agreed to alter the NEPM associated with the assessment of site contamination (ASC) by approving the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Amendment Measure 2013. This came into effect on 16 May 2013 and followed over 8 years of review. The purpose of this amendment is to update methodologies for analysing human and ecological risks to reflect recent advances in the industry, both in Australia and abroad. Regulatory authorities have agreed in principle to a transition period of up to 12 months for full implementation of the amended ASC NEPM with the modifications to apply to works completed after 15 May 2013.
Key changes that the ASC amendment has brought include:
- Revised flow chart for site assessment
- Update and expanded Human Investigation Levels (HILs)
- New volatiles assessment framework
- New Health and Ecological Screening Levels for petroleum hydrocarbons.
- New Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) methodology & Ecological Investigation Levels (EILs)
- Updated Groundwater Investigation Levels (GILs)
- New asbestos guidance
Of particular note for AD Envirotech are the changes to the asbestos guidelines. These recommendations have been based upon the Guidelines for the Assessment, Remediation and Management of Asbesots-Contaminated Sites in Western Australia (May 2009). For example, specific guidance has now been provided regarding the assessment of asbestos contaminated soil. This represents a positive step forward as formerly no assessment levels for asbestos in soils existed. This resulted in a zero tolerance policy which, at times, may have resulted in unnecessary remediation. As such, these new measures have resulted in increased flexibility in creating management plans to suit the exact needs of the site owners and occupiers. AD Envirotech has accordingly responded to ensure that all work which it conducts complies with the latest legislation and our clients are continually provided with the highest quality of service.
A.D. Envirotech Australia Pty Ltd – Head Office
Unit 6/7 Millennium Ct.,
Silverwater, NSW, 2128, Australia
(02) 8541 7214
A.D. Envirotech Australia Pty Ltd – Laboratory
4/10-11 Millennium Ct
Silverwater, NSW, 2128, Australia
(02) 9648 6669
A. D. Envirotech Australia Pty Ltd (ADE)
PO Box 288
Upper Coomera LPO,
QLD, 4209 Australia
(07) 5519 4610