New strategy to better manage contaminated environments released
EPA Victoria has released a new strategy to better manage contaminated environments across Victoria, as part of a strategic priority to ‘deal with past pollution’.
In 1997 it was estimated there was at least 10,000 contaminated environments in Victoria, which are a legacy of the industrial and manufacturing heritage of the state. This estimate does not include groundwater impacts which were not required to be reported on at that time. It is a common problem facing government agencies in Australia and overseas.
EPA’s key objective of the Contaminated Environments Strategy is to reduce environmental and health impacts of historical contamination. While the strategy primarily focuses on using EPA’s regulatory powers to address current issues, it also identifies areas where EPA’s authority and expertise can be used to support other areas of government involved in the management of contaminated environments.
The Contaminated Environments Strategy was developed in consultation with other government agencies and departments, experts in land remediation, local government and community stakeholders. It also addresses issues raised by the Auditor General’s Report, Managing Contaminated Sites, released in 2011.
The strategy is built around four themes:
- Clarifying roles and responsibilities for contaminated environments
- Updating the contaminated environments framework and application
- Making information about contaminated environments available
- Reviewing and updating the tools EPA uses for regulating pollution and contaminated environments.
An updated, central database of information on groundwater pollution is also being developed as part of the strategy.