In NSW, responsibility for the management of contaminated land is shared by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW), the Department of Planning (DOP) and Councils as the consent authorities for planning matters.
Under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 DECCW regulates contaminated sites where the contamination is significant enough to warrant regulation.
Contaminated sites that are not regulated by the DECCW are managed by local councils through land-use planning processes.
The planning and development control process, under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, is important in the management of land contamination.
When considering development applications, Council must be satisfied that there is no contamination of the land that poses any risk to human health. If a preliminary site investigation indicates such a risk may be present, a detailed site contamination investigation and remediation plan will be required to accompany the development application.
Local councils also provide information about land contamination on planning certificates that they issue under section 149 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
Land remediation is facilitated and controlled through State Environmental Planning Policy 55 - Remediation of Land (SEPP55).
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