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When waste and chemicals pollute air, soil or water, they can contaminate land and groundwater. This can pose a potential risk to health and the environment.

Land contamination can happen when past waste disposal or industrial activities have caused pollution. Land contamination needs to be cleaned up and managed in the right way.

Groundwater collects and flows below the earth’s surface. People can use it for crops, industry and drinking water. If groundwater gets polluted it may be unsafe to use.

EPA is responsible for protecting Victoria’s land and groundwater from pollution and waste:

  • We monitor industry to make sure it complies with environment protection laws.
  • We set guidance and rules on dealing with past pollution in the Contaminated Environments Strategy.
  • We administer the environmental audit system. This helps planners, landowners and buyers assess contamination at a site.
  • We keep a Priority Sites Register (PSR). This is a list of sites with clean up or pollution abatement notices about land or groundwater.
  • We give information about groundwater quality across the state.
  • We give health guidance on dangerous chemicals like trichloroethylene (TCE) and arsenic.
  • We work with industry and planning authorities to prevent harm from lead contamination at shooting ranges.
  • We investigate contamination from per-and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS).

Read next

Contaminated site management

Priority Sites Register

Contaminated Environments Strategy

Groundwater pollution

Search for areas with groundwater restriction zones (GQURZs)

Trichloroethylene (TCE): health impacts

Arsenic: health impacts

Land and groundwater contamination from shooting ranges

Per-and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS)

PFAS in Victoria

Learn about PFAS

Interim position statement on PFAS (publication 1669)

Regulating PFAS: PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (NEMP)

Future plans for regulating PFAS: PFAS NEMP 2.0

PFAS site investigations

PFAS 2017 summit

Reviewed 13 November 2019