Compliance and enforcement

Contaminated environments (land and groundwater) – Priority Sites Register

EPA’s 5 Year Plan has a specific focus on the environmental and economic problems of contaminated land and groundwater. Sites that have been contaminated by past industrial use pose a risk to the environment and the public, and contaminated sites often ‘tie up’ potentially productive land in metropolitan and regional centres across Victoria.

EPA may require duty holders to clean up sites through a clean-up notice or pollution abatement notice. These notices remain in place until the contamination is cleaned up or managed to an acceptable standard. Sites that are subject to a remedial notice for land and or groundwater contamination are included on our public Priority Sites Register (PSR) for the duration that the site has a notice.

Through ongoing training, we are increasing the number of EPA field staff involved in managing the risks of contaminated sites. We will inspect a number of sites listed on the Priority Sites Register in 2014–15 and initiate follow-up action where non-compliance with our statutory instruments is identified. As part of all inspections, we will be gathering information that will be used to assess each site’s potential risk to human health and the environment. This will allow us to focus on the sites that pose the greatest risk.

What is EPA focusing on?

Inspections for 2014–15 will focus on moving sites listed on the PSR from the assessment phase (determining how contaminated a site is) through to the cleanup (removing or treating contamination) and post cleanup monitoring phases. In addition to this particular program, EPA will also continue to inspect and regulate sites as EPA becomes aware of them.

What can you do?

  • Ensure that you are familiar with and are complying with your notice requirements.
  • If the notice requires additional works by a third party or environmental auditor, ensure you have a status report from them to be able to demonstrate progress towards complying with those requirements.
  • If your notice requires you to conduct ongoing monitoring, ensure you have a report on the monitoring, copies of monitoring records and that you can demonstrate that the monitoring equipment is operational. If you do not know how to comply with your notice, seek professional advice from an appropriately qualified environment professional or consultant.
  • If you have not complied with your notice or are unable to comply, please notify EPA immediately on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).

Page last updated on 25 Feb 2015