The National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 1999 (the NEPM) sets out a framework for assessment of contamination and the risk to human health and the environment, and the methods for managing contamination. The NEPM has effect as a State Policy in Tasmania under Section 12A of the State Policies and Projects Act 1993.
Principle 5 of the NEPM states that [planning] authorities 'that consent to developments, or changes in land use, should ensure a site that is being considered for development or a change in land use, and that the authorities ought reasonably know if it has a history of use that is indicative of potential contamination, is suitable for its intended use.'
The Land Use and Planning and Approvals Act 1993 (LUPAA) requires, under Section 20(1)(B), that planning schemes be prepared in accordance with State Policies. Planning Schemes are therefore to contain specific requirements for the assessment of site suitablity in relation to known and potentially contaminated sites.
Where a Planning Authority is considering an application in relation to known or potentially contaminated land, the applicant may be required to complete a Contaminated Site Assessment; and/or undertake remediation and/or management measures to demonstrate the site is suitable for its intended use.
Contaminated site assessments may be submitted to the EPA Division by a Planning Authority for a 3rd party review under the 'sign-off' process in accordance with Information Bulletin 112 dated February 2011.
The EPA Division is working with the Tasmanian Planning Commission on a State-wide Potentially Contaminated Land Code ('the Code'). The Code, when introduced, will become a requirement under all Planning Schemes and Interim Planning Schemes in Tasmania and will define requirements for contaminated site assessements and remediation where a planning application is being considered by a PLanning Authority in Tasmania.