Councils encounter many situations where they are required to deal with land contamination issues.
Some of the circumstances include where councils act as:
- A regulator under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act (generally as a result of pollution incidents).
- A Planning Authority, where rezoning or development proposals may potentially increase the likelihood of exposure to harmful substances or their release into the environment.
- An owner / operator of land that may be subject to contamination (eg council roads, derelict gasworks and landfills, council depots, etc).
- A co-regulator with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for contaminated lands, particularly as a repository of information for parties who may have an interest in land (eg section 149 certificates, contaminated land registers etc).
Local Government NSW, formerly LGSA, have worked closely with the NSW EPA on a number of contaminated land programs and funding initiatives, including the:
- Council Gasworks remediation program
- Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS) program
- Innocent Owners Financial Assistance Program
- Emergency Pollution Orphan Waste Clean Up Program (EPOWCUP).