Contaminated Land
Site Assessment and Remediation
Site Audits


Site Audits

What Is a site audit?
Although widely used, the term site audit (or environmental audit) may have a range of meanings. In the specific context of contaminated land, an audit generally refers to an external review of either site assessment or validation reports prepared by other consultants, or the process of site remediation itself.

New South Wales
In New South Wales, Site Audits are carried out under the provisions of Part 4 of the Contaminated Land Management (CLM) Act 1997. On completion of a Site Audit an Auditor issues a Site Audit Statement and Summary Site Audit Report.

Under the CLM Act, a site audit is defined as an independent review that relates to investigation, or remediation, carried out in respect of the actual or possible contamination of land, and that is conducted for the purpose of determining any one or more of the following matters:

(i) the nature and extent of any contamination of the land,
(ii) the nature and extent of the investigation or remediation,

(iii) what investigation or remediation remains necessary before the land is suitable for any specified use or range of uses,
(iia) whether the land is suitable for any use or range of uses.
(iv) the suitability and appropriateness of a plan of remediation, a long-term management plan, a voluntary investigation proposal or a remediation proposal.

An audit may be either statutory, when it is carried out to comply with requirements imposed by legislation or by a planning instrument or development consent made under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, or non-statutory, where it is carried out for due diligence purposes or as a requirement of a civil contract or agreement.

Chris Jewell was accredited as a Site Auditor in New South Wales upon commencement of Part 4 of the CLM Act in June 1998. This appointment is current and was last renewed (for 3 years) by the NSW Environment Protection Authority in June 2002. Chris Jewell is one of the most experienced auditors in NSW, and specialises in sites where groundwater contamination is an issue.

Statutory Environmental Audits (Contaminated Land) are carried out under the provisions of Section 57 of the Environment Protection Act 1970, as amended in 1989. The Environment Protection Authority (Victoria) has appointed a number of suitably qualified and experienced persons to be Environmental Auditors (Contaminated Land) for the purposes of the Act.

As in New South Wales, Auditors in Victoria conducting Statutory Environmental Audits review all available information such as environmental assessment reports and results of validation sampling, and, if appropriate, require additional sampling and analysis to be carried out.

If satisfied that the condition of the land is not detrimental or potentially detrimental to any beneficial use of the land, then the Auditor may issue a Certificate of Environmental Audit for the site. Conversely, if the Auditor considers that the condition of the land is detrimental or potentially detrimental to any beneficial use, then the Auditor refuses to issue a Certificate and issues instead a Statement of Environmental Audit. A Statement of Environmental Audit may specify remedial action which should be carried out, or may state the beneficial uses for which the site is suitable. Conditions may be attached to use of the site.

The Auditor is legally required to send copies of the Certificate or Statement and a copy of his audit report to the Environment Protection Authority (Victoria), and the planning authority responsible for the site.

C. M. Jewell was appointed as an Environmental Auditor (Contaminated Land) by the Environment Protection Authority (Victoria) in November 1995. This appointment is current and was last renewed in July 2004.

South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania have introduced similar schemes, using Auditors with primary accreditation in NSW and Victoria.

© C. M. Jewell & Associates Pty Ltd - 1/13 Kalinda Road, Bullaburra, NSW, 2784. PO Box 10, Wentworth Falls, NSW, 2782.
Ph (02) 4759 3251. Fax (02) 4759 3257.