Land and groundwater


Consultation on Draft of Version 2 of the PFAS National Environmental Management Plan

The PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (NEMP) was published in February 2018 following agreement by all Australian Environment Ministers. The Heads of EPAs (HEPA) National Chemicals Working Group (NCWG) has been working since to clarify and expand on the guidance in the NEMP. This updating work is consistent with the commitment by HEPA that the NEMP will be a living document. A comprehensive review of the PFAS NEMP will be undertaken in 2023.

Material in the NEMP 2.0 for consultation includes:

  • Updates to the soil criteria included in PFAS NEMP version 1, to ensure that criteria are appropriate for Australian conditions (these include changes to the human health residential soil criterion and to the land use categories for the ecological indirect soil criterion)
  • Extensive new guidance on the reuse of soil, including a decision tree to be applied in consultation with the regulator
  • Initial guidance on management of PFAS in wastewater, including trade waste, to be further developed in consultation with the water industry. This guidance includes an example water utility PFAS management framework, and
  • New on-site storage and containment guidance for PFAS-containing products and materials.

Stakeholders are invited to consider and provide feedback on the aspects of the NEMP that are either new or significantly revised. To facilitate this, the text that has changed from version 1 of the PFAS NEMP is shown in version 2 of the draft NEMP with a coloured background. There are two categories of changes which are highlighted:

  • new or significantly amended material - feedback is invited on these changes
  • editorial revisions to more clearly communicate the original intention of the NEMP text are shown for information – these changes are not subject to consultation.

Version 2 of the draft NEMP is available at the following links:

The consultations

Written submissions can be emailed to at any time from 1 March to 31 May 2019. The optional response template (PDF; Word) may be helpful to assist in providing feedback. We request that you use the subject line “Submission on PFAS Draft NEMP version 2” when emailing a response.


It is preferred that submissions do not contain confidential elements to be consistent with a transparent review and decision making process.

All submissions will be treated as public documents, unless the author(s) of the submission clearly requests otherwise. Public submissions may be published in full, including any personal information of authors and/or other third parties contained in the submission.

If a part of a submission includes confidential or sensitive information it should be provided in a separate attachment. Alternatively a redacted version may be submitted.

If a submission contains personal information about any person who is not an author of the submission, please indicate on the cover sheet if the person or persons have not consented to the publication of this information.

Any requests for access to a submission marked ‘confidential’ under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or state and territory freedom of information requirements will be determined in accordance with those requirements.

The consultation schedule

From March to April 2019, the National Chemicals Working Group, under the direction of HEPA, hosted open consultation sessions in all capital cities around Australia.

Page last updated on 7 May 2019