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Contaminated Land Information and Resource

This digital platform provides Councils with access to a range of information and resources to guide and assist their management of contaminated land, underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS) and related matters in their business processes.

This platform and its content were made possible through grant funding provided by the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (‘EPA’) under its Council Regional Capacity Building (‘CRCB’) program on contaminated land.

It is important Councils note that information and resources provided on this platform reflect the NSW legislative framework and best practices as at 30 June 2023.

Contaminated Land Management Framework

The contaminated land management framework guides and informs Council decision-making on contaminated land and UPSS.

This framework comprises:

  1. Model Contaminated Land Policy ( PDF | Word )
  2. Council Guidance on Implementing the Contaminated Land Policy ( PDF )
  3. Best practice resources on contaminated land and underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS)

The Model Contaminated Land Policy can be used by Councils to update their current Contaminated Land Policy, or to develop a Contaminated Land Policy for its local government area.

The model policy outlines how Councils are to implement the ‘contaminated land planning guidelines’. The ‘contaminated land planning guidelines’ is the guideline specified in Schedule 6 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1997, and the guideline established by Part 3 of the Resilience and Hazards SEPP 2021.

The Council Guidance on Implementing the Contaminated Land Policy elaborates in greater detail how Councils are to implement the ‘contaminated land planning guidelines’. This resource provides visual aids (including flow charts) to assist Councils navigate contaminated land and UPSS processes and practices.

Detailed information on specific contaminated land and UPSS processes are provided in a raft of ‘best practice resources’. These resources provide Councils with tools and checklists to lift confidence in making informed decisions on contaminated land and UPSS.

Contaminated Land Planning Guidelines

The NSW planning approach for the remediation of contaminated land is outlined in the ‘contaminated land planning guidelines’ (currently known as the SEPP55 Planning Guidelines – Remediation of Land (DUAP, 1998)).

The key principles of this statewide planning approach are:

  • To ensure land is suitable for its proposed use, or can be made suitable through remediation, and
  • Development works or an approved use of land does not increase risk of harm to human health and the environment.

It is acknowledged the NSW Department of Planning and Environment has not released a final version of the draft Contaminated Land Planning Guidelines (DPE, 2018) that is to replace the SEPP55 Planning Guidelines. Please check the DPE website for updates in the development of the updated guidelines.