Minimum Standards for Reporting on Contaminated Sites

​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​All contaminated site assessments prepared as a requirement under a Part 5A Notice must be undertaken in accordance with the ​ National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 1999 (the NEPM), or as varied. The NEPM establishes a nationally consistent approach to the assessment of site contamination to ensure sound environmental management practices by the community. 

An amendment to the NEPM was registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments on the 15 May 2013. The amendment is now in force and incorporates updated methodologies for assessing human and ecological risks and site assessment methods, now in line with advances in Australia and overseas.​​

For further information on undertaking a contaminated site assessment in accordance with the NEPM, please refer to the Contaminated Site Assessment​ page.

Guidance for assessment and management of sites contaminated with Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS, has also been developed. The PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (PFAS NEMP) forms Appendix B to the Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Framework for Responding to PFAS Contamination. For further information see ​PFAS Contamination.

​If a chemical or physical property is not listed in the NEPM, or if the only reference value available is not appropriate for the environmental values to be protected, then alternative guideline levels may be used providing they are referenced fully and the relevance of the guideline is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director, EPA.​

Assessments of contaminated land and the preparation of assessment reports are to be undertaken by professionals who have the certification (if required), qualifications, competencies and experience, to a level appropriate to the contamination issues relevant to the site under investigation. Refer to the Engaging an Environmental Site Assessment Consultant​ page for further information.​

Please note that where the Health Screening Levels (HSLs) for Petroleum Hydrocarbons have been utilised in the assessment of contaminated land, the HSL checklists should be completed and included as an appendix to the report.

Reports may be rejected by the Director, EPA where the use of appropriate standards and guidelines has not been demonstrated in undertaking the contaminated site assessment, including appropriate quality assurance and quality control. Any deviations from the guidance documents must be appropriately justified. Information on report presentation is available in Section 14 of Schedule B2 of the NEPM.​

Please refer to Publications and Resources - Contaminated Sites for other guidelines that may be useful when undertaking a contaminated site assessment.