For over 20 years, the State Environmental Planning Policy No 55 – Remediation of Land and the Contaminated Land Planning Guidelines have guided planning and development decisions about managing contaminated land in NSW. This state environmental planning policy (SEPP) is now in Chapter 4 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Resilience and Hazards) 2021.
Ministerial Direction 4.4 – Remediation of Contaminated Land under Section 9.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 includes requirements for considering contamination when rezoning land.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority also has powers under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 to deal with contamination that is serious enough to justify regulation under this legislation.
Proposed draft SEPP and guideline
We submitted a draft explanation of intended effect for a new SEPP and draft Contaminated Land Planning Guidelines in 2018. These aimed to:
- provide a state-wide planning framework for the remediation of land
- maintain the objectives and reinforce those aspects of the existing framework that have worked well
- require planning authorities to consider the potential for land to be contaminated when determining development applications and rezoning land
- clearly list the remediation works that require development consent
- introduce certification and operational requirements for remediation works that can be undertaken without development consent.
We are continuing to consider the issues raised. Submissions can be viewed on the NSW Planning Portal.