Environmental Site Assessments
A. D. Envirotech (ADE) has over 15 years experience in all aspects of Environmental Site Assessments. The environmental services provided by ADE are tailored to address specific EPA requirements for each site.
Before our clients relinquish or purchase a site, an environmental assessment is conducted to identify the environmental risk of a property or site, thus defining future liabilities that may be of a serious nature.
ADE ensures that all environmental assessments are fully compliant with all relevant guidelines and Australian Standards and the National Environmental Protection Measure (NEPM) (Assessment of Site Contamination).
ADE specialises in two main forms of environmental assessments: contaminated site investigations and remediation and underground petrol storage systems.
Contaminated Site Investigation and Remediation
According to the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997, contaminated land is defined as “land where a substance is present at a concentration higher than is normally found on land in the same area, where that substance presents a risk of harm to human health or the environment”. Before relinquishing or purchasing a site, an environmental assessment can be conducted to identify the environmental risk of a property or site, thus defining future liabilities that may be of a serious nature. If indeed soil or groundwater contamination is found, this can create legal and financial problems for companies, land owners and investors. Consequently, it is essential that proper remediation action is taken.
There are four major stages of contamination investigations set by the NSW EPA in the NEPM Amendment, 2013. These are as follows:
|Stage I||Preliminary site investigation (PSI)
Identifies past and present potentially contaminating activities Provides a preliminary assessment of site contamination
|Stage II||Detailed site investigation (DSI)
Gives comprehensive information on type, extent and level of contamination and identifies potential impacts for both human and environmental health
|Stage III||Site remedial action plan (RAP)
Details the procedures to be implemented to reduce the risk to the environment to acceptable levels for the proposed site use.
|Stage IV||Validation and long-term monitoring
Assesses and statistically confirms that the remediated site complies with the clean-up criteria set for the site
ADE ensures that all environmental assessments are fully compliant with all relevant guidelines and Australian Standards:
- WHS Regulation 2011.
- WHS Act 2011.
- Guidelines for the NSW Site Auditor Scheme, NSW DEC 2006.
- Guidelines for Consultants Reporting on Contaminated Sites, NSW EPA, 2000.
- Assessment of Site Contamination, National Environmental Protection Measure (NEPM Amendment), 2013.
- Australian Standard AS 4482.1 Guide to the sampling and investigation of potentially contaminated soil. Part 1: Non-volatile and semi-volatile compounds.
- Australian Standard AS 4482.2 Guide to the sampling and investigation of potentially contaminated soil. Part 2: Volatile substances.
- Sampling Design Guidelines – NSW EPA, 1995.
- Waste Classification Guidelines Part 1: Classifying Waste, DECC, 2009.
The environmental services provided by ADE are tailored to address specific EPA requirements for each site. As such, our environmental consultants are able to complete each stage of a contaminated land assessment, from initial investigation all the way through to remediation. ADE use in-house drilling teams applying specially adapted drilling and sampling equipment. Field work is carried out in accordance with our endorsed quality control procedures accredited by EPA auditors.
In the case where contamination is present and remediation is necessary, ADE employs a wide range of remediation techniques, technologies and services including:
- In situ stabilisation – excavated soil is converted to a chemically stable material by adding a stabilising agent
- Non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) removal – Pumping is conducted where NAPLs are encountered floating on the water table
- Design of remedial measures – Cut-off walls design; Bioremediation and land farming
- Remedial plans preparation – Calculation of clean-up costs
- Project management of the remedial actions – Our broad-based expertise in remediation of contaminated sites enables our clients to quantify and minimise their environmental liabilities.
Underground Petrol Storage Systems
Underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS) have the potential to leak, leading to expensive clean-up bills and damage to the environment. Continued leaks can have a major impact on neighbouring properties and impose very significant costs on the tank owner and the broader community.
The Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2008 requires owners and operators to regularly check for leaks in the fuel tanks and pipes used to store and handle petroleum products. They also need to meet minimum standards in their day-to-day environmental management of these storage systems.
Under the Regulation, it is against the law to allow or ignore contamination resulting from a leaking or faulty UPSS.
Experience shows that many service station sites have elevated concentrations of petroleum products in soil and ground water. Because such elevated concentrations could potentially pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment, a site contamination assessment is quite often necessary.
A soil assessment on the site is focused initially on the location of site utilities, e.g. underground storage tanks, feed lines, pump stations, pits and utility trenches.
In order to suitably with the potential hazard that UPSS pose, the owner/operator is required to implement the following:
- a system for detecting and monitoring leaks
- groundwater monitoring wells at sensitive locations and a program to test them
- an Environment Protection Plan for the facility
- a system for record keeping, reporting of leaks and notifying the local council when a UPSS is decommissioned.
Matters regarding UPSS are dictated by The Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2008. The UPSS Regulation was amended in November 2011 to extend the EPA’s role as appropriate regulatory authority for implementing the Regulation for another five years to June 2017. It is projected that local councils will resume broader regulatory roles under the Regulation following this date.
ADE employs a range of experienced engineers, scientists and project managers who specialise in dealing with issues surrounding contaminated site investigation and assessment.
ADE’s key services related to the UPSS include:
- Interpretation of the UPSS- call one of our environmental consultants for free advice.
- Preparation of Environmental Protection Plans as per the requirements in the 2008 Regulation.
- Installation and monitoring of groundwater wells- ADE houses its own in-house drilling team with state of the art equipment.
- Decommissioning of Underground Storage Systems- Validation (Phase IV) Reports detailed to EPA requirements.
- Remediation of abandoned buried tanks – Underground storage tanks (USTs) are removed and disposed of, offsite Contaminated soil is remediated by land farming/bioremediation
The proper locating, excavation, removal and disposal of USTs are known as decommissioning. It involves the safe handling and destruction of a UST as well as proper record keeping. UST decommissioning can be dangerous and costly if conducted inappropriately and should only be attempted by experts.
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