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Civil construction, building and demolition activities can cause pollution and produce waste. Some examples include:

  • land development
  • commercial and residential construction
  • subdivision
  • demolition and decommissioning
  • earthworks
  • maintenance, repair and renovation of structures
  • other construction trades.

The Civil construction, building and demolition guide (publication 1834) provides an overview of potential environmental risks and controls. You can use the guide to learn how to put these in place to manage your risk.

This will help prevent your activities causing harm to human health and the environment. 

Why eliminating or reducing risk is important

Civil construction, building and demolition activities can cause impacts if they are not appropriately managed. Impacts can affect:

  • air quality
  • land
  • water and groundwater,

as well as harm from noise.

Eliminating or reducing the risks of harm in a structured way will help you:

Not eliminating or reducing your environmental risk could mean you face: 

  • cleanup costs 
  • lost work time 
  • legal fees 
  • fines 
  • and criminal charges.    

Purpose of the guide

The information in the guide is general in nature. You can use it to help inform the decisions and steps you take to eliminate or reduce risks of harm. It also contributes to your state of knowledge.

While it will help you understand environment protection laws and how you can comply with them, it is not a compliance document. 
The guide replaces:

Environmental guidelines for major construction sites (publication 480)
Doing it right on subdivisions: Temporary environmental protection measures for subdivision construction sites (publication 960)
Reducing stormwater pollution from construction sites (publication 981)
Noise control guidelines, Section 2 (publication 1254)
Noise from large residential subdivision or urban development sites (publication 1264)  

We will update this guide in the future. Regulations to support the Environment Protection Act 2017 , are intended to come into force in 2021 . The Regulations will provide more details.  

Read the guide

The Civil construction, building and demolition guide (publication 1834) has been developed for people whose role involves site planning or environmental management in supporting activities and projects of all scales and complexity.

It will help you manage your obligations associated with:

  • noise and vibration – scheduling works, community consultation, managing noise and vibration at the source, and managing noise using offsite controls 
  • erosion, sediment and dust – managing stormwater flows, minimising dust, managing stockpiles and working within waterways
  • contaminated land and groundwater – identifying presence of contaminated land, and preventing contamination of stormwater and groundwater   
  • chemical storage and handling – managing storage and handling of liquid and solid chemicals, spill response and cleanup, and managing volatile liquids 
  • waste – managing different types of waste, storage, collection, transport and removal.

Read next

Construction sector guide (publication 1820)

Construction industry: environmental guidance

Manage your environmental risk

New laws and your business

How-to for business and industry.

Reviewed 30 November 2020