Based on the information available the following notices can be served by the Director under Section 74C of EMPCA:
- Investigation notice: can require work to determine whether land is contaminated, the type and extent of contamination, the extent of environmental harm and appropriate management options.
- Remediation notice: can require action to ensure that people and the environment are protected from harm, or further harm, caused by contamination.
- Site Management notice: can be issued to ensure the safe management of a contaminated site.
When serving an Investigation or Remediation notice the first party sought will be the person responsible for having caused the area to be a contaminated site (i.e. the polluter). This can include a person who owned or occupied land at the time a pollutant escaped and where the person knew or should have known the escape occurred. If the Director cannot locate the above persons or they are unable to pay for works, a notice may be served on the owner of a site but only if it was purchased after 29 November 2007 and if, when purchasing it, the owner knew, suspected or should have reasonably suspected that the area of land was or was likely to be a contaminated site.
A Site Management notice may be served on a person responsible for contaminating the site, and/or an owner, occupier or person in charge of the site.
Notices may also be served on a person who has accepted responsibility for the contamination. Future purchasers of a site may be responsible for complying with a notice where this is specified in the notice.
Anyone served a notice has 14 days in which to
lodge an appeal with the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal. The person issued with the notice must comply with the requirements of notice, this includes meeting specified dates for completion of an action or submission of relevant documents. Requests for Extension may be considered in some cases.
All State and Commonwealth legislation, State regulations and State or Environmental Policies triggered through the actions or works required under a Notice must be complied with. This may include, but is not limited to the:
- Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Waste Management) Regulations 2020;
Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016;
State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997
For more information on State Legislation, Regulation and Policy refer to the About Policy & Legislation page.
In some cases the Director may consider that the contamination on a site is not significant enough to warrant it being considered a contaminated site for the purposes of EMPCA. Even if this is the case it may still be necessary to complete an investigation of site contamination for the purposes of redevelopment, if this is proposed. The Planning Authority will advise if this is necessary when a planning application is made.
A Notice is attached to the land title of the site and remains on the land title until all the conditions of the Notice have been complied with in full or are revoked. Land title information is available to the public through the Office of the Recorder of Titles.