In July 2018, the Department of Environment and Science (DES) released the updated Queensland Auditor Handbook for Contaminated Land, Modules 1 – 6 (DES, July 2018). While there were some significant changes to the modules, overall, the content remains the same, articulating the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Measure 2013 (NEPM) and the Environmental Protection (EP) Act 1994 in relation to the submission of a contaminated land information document (CLID). The main changes to the modules include:
- Explicit instructions regarding land use certification, and that the site suitability statement only includes the choice of one of four “Outcomes”. These outcomes only allow certification against the specific criteria described on the site suitability statement, including Land use A, B, C or D. While the land uses generally align with the land uses and criteria described in the NEPM, there are some specific land uses on the suitability statement that need to be assessed irrespective of the NEPM.
- The removal of the “Module 5” table requirements.
- Where there is radiation impact on the site, the audit certification requires a specific expert support statement addressing the radiation assessment.
- All environmental values that derive from Queensland’s environmental protection policies cannot be subsequently disregarded or diminished by applying the contaminated land NEPM’s risk-based process, i.e. the environmental values described in the Environmental Protection (Water) Policy 2009 (EPP(Water)) must be applied.
Marc Salmon of Easterly Point is a certificated contaminated land auditor (NSW and Qld) and radiation specialist, and can provide expert support to auditors, and consultants alike in the area of radiation assessments, amongst others.