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5 Land and Soil Module

5.3 Contaminated Land*

5.3.4 Implementation Methods - Contaminated Land

5.3.4.1 Partnerships

Waikato Regional Council will work with:

  1. individual land owners, other liable parties, territorial authorities, public health boards and other relevant agencies to develop strategies for managing the risks on contaminated land,
  2. territorial authorities and public health boards to establish and maintain a database of historic land use sites where past land uses have involved the use, storage or disposal of hazardous substances, or where contamination has been confirmed.

5.3.4.2 Environmental Education

Waikato Regional Council will, through environmental education programmes, provide land owners with information and advice on:

  1. the best means to avoid or remedy any potential effects of land contamination,
  2. techniques for undertaking contaminated site assessments,
  3. the options for remediation and long term management of their sites.

5.3.4.3 Promotion

Waikato Regional Council will encourage:

  1. owners of sites on which medium and high priority land uses have occurred to complete contaminated site assessments, especially prior to the sale or redevelopment of their land,
  2. territorial authorities to seek site assessments prior to allowing subdivision or redevelopment of land where any of the historical land uses identified in Table 5-1 are likely to have occurred in the past,
  3. territorial authorities to contribute to the ongoing development and maintenance of a joint database collating information on the status of land where uses involving the storage, use or disposal of hazardous substances has occurred and release of that information through the LIMs and PIMs processes.

5.3.4.4 Investigation and Remediation

Waikato Regional Council will:

  1. undertake appropriate desk top investigations (including analysis of old aerial photos and records of chemical use, enforcement action and affidavits) of sites where high priority land uses have occurred in the past. Priority for investigation will be given to those orphaned sites* that pose the most significant risk of adverse effects,
  2. take a lead role in identifying funding sources for, and in co-ordinating, the remediation of orphaned sites that have discharges that present a significant risk of adverse effects to the environment.

5.3.4.5 Part XII RMA Enforcement

Waikato Regional Council will apply for enforcement orders, issue abatement notices and use other enforcement mechanisms in Part XII of the RMA, to require remediation or management of contaminated land where the current management is not adequately addressing adverse effects of discharges to air or water emanating from the site.

5.3.4.6 Permitted Activity Rule – Discharges from Remediation of Contaminated Land

Any discharge arising from remediation of contaminated land is a permitted activity, subject to the following conditions:

  1. any discharge to air arising from the activity shall comply with the conditions and standards and terms in Section 6.1.8 except where the matters addressed in Section 6.1.8 are already addressed by conditions on resource consents for the site.
  2. No contaminants from the remediation of the contaminated land shall be discharged into water or onto land unless discharged to a landfill authorised in Section 5.2.7.
  3. The Waikato Regional Council shall be provided with the following reports prepared in compliance with Contaminated Land Management Guideline No.1: Reporting on Contaminated Sites in New Zealand (Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, NZ, updated October 2003) prior to commencement of land remediation:
    1. detailed site investigation report
    2. site remedial action plan
  4. After remediation is completed, copies of the following reports prepared in compliance with Contaminated Land Management Guideline No.1: Reporting on Contaminated Sites in New Zealand (Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, NZ, updated October 2003) must be provided to the Waikato Regional Council:
    1. site validation report
    2. ongoing monitoring and management plan.
  5. Any updates of these reports shall be provided to the Waikato Regional Council if a change in investigation, remediation and monitoring strategy occurs.

Advisory Notes:

  • Copies of Contaminated Land Management Guideline No.1: Reporting on Contaminated Sites in New Zealand (Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, NZ, updated October 2003) are available from Waikato Regional Council or can be found on the Ministry for the Environment’s website.
  • The LIM report for the site will be updated in accordance with Figure 5-2 and Method 5.3.4.3 to show that the land has been remediated.

5.3.4.7 Controlled Activity Rule – Discharges from Remediation of Contaminated Land

Any discharge arising from remediation of contaminated land that does not comply with Rule 5.3.4.6 is a controlled activity subject to the following standards and terms:

  1. The Waikato Regional Council shall be provided with the following reports prepared in compliance with Contaminated Land Management Guideline No.1: Reporting on Contaminated Sites in New Zealand (Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, NZ, updated October 2003) prior to commencement of land remediation:
    1. detailed site investigation report,
    2. site remedial action plan.
  2. After remediation is completed, copies of the following reports prepared in compliance with Contaminated Land Management Guideline No.1: Reporting on Contaminated Sites in New Zealand (Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, NZ, updated October 2003) must be provided to the Waikato Regional Council:
    1. site validation report.
    2. ongoing monitoring and management plan.
  3. Any updates of these reports shall be provided to the Waikato Regional Council if a change in investigation, remediation and monitoring strategy occurs.
  4. Any discharge to air arising from the activity shall comply with the conditions and standards and terms in Section 6.1.8 except where the matters addressed in Section 6.1.8 are already addressed by conditions on resource consents for the site.

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. Degree of contamination remaining in soil and water after remediation is complete.
  2. The methodology used to identify the presence and concentration of contaminants discharged onto or into land.
  3. The acceptability of the methods of assessment of resources under threat and pathways of contaminant migration followed by modelling to demonstrate the level of threat that exists, specifically in terms of:
    1. water quality protection guidelines
    2. background soil concentrations
    3. soil acceptance criteria
    4. guidelines recognised by Waikato Regional Council
    5. acceptable international standards.
  4. The requirements for leachability tests to demonstrate the mobility of contaminants present.
  5. The requirements to provide an acceptable method for reducing ground or surface water migration into or out of the contaminated land.
  6. The requirements for monitoring to assess ground water and surface water contaminant levels.
  7. Contents of ongoing monitoring and management plan.
  8. Measures to ensure consistency with criteria as set out in any applicable water management classes in this Plan.

Notification:
Application for resource consents for activities under this Rule will be considered without notification or the need to obtain written approval of affected persons, in accordance with s94(1)(b) of the RMA.

Advisory Notes:

  • Copies of Contaminated Land Management Guideline No.1: Reporting on Contaminated Sites in New Zealand (Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, NZ, updated October 2003) are available from Waikato Regional Council or can be found on the Ministry for the Environment’s website.
  • The LIM report for the site will be updated in accordance with Figure 5-2 and Method 5.3.4.3 to show that the land has been remediated.

5.3.4.8 Discretionary Activity Rule – Discharges from Remediation of Contaminated Land

Any discharge arising from remediation of contaminated land that does not comply with Rules 5.3.4.6 and 5.3.4.7 is a discretionary activity (requiring resource consent).

Explanation and Principal Reason for Adopting Methods 5.3.4.1 to 5.3.4.8
Waikato Regional Council’s strategy for managing issues associated with contaminated land is outlined in the implementation methods above. The strategy emphasises the use of nonregulatory methods and enabling rules to manage the risks associated with land contamination. Figure 5-2 provides a graphic representation of how this strategy will be implemented.

Methods 5.3.4.1, 5.3.4.2 and 5.3.4.3 identify the importance of maintaining a database of the status of contaminated land and providing information, advice and key messages on managing the risks associated with the land to the landowners.

The database must be developed and maintained in a partnership between Waikato Regional Council and territorial authorities. This is necessary to ensure that potentially contaminated land is not redeveloped without the risks being assessed and managed, to avoid residential or agricultural development occurring on contaminated land. This information will be made available to the public through LIM and PIM processes and will allow potential property purchasers to make informed decisions. The listing of land on the database will encourage landowners to check contamination status of their land and remediate it to a standard that meets the objective for this Section if necessary without the need for regulation.

Method 5.3.4.4 identifies that Waikato Regional Council has a role in the identification and assessment of contaminated land. The method focuses Waikato Regional Council on high priority and orphaned sites as they are the sites that present the most significant risk of adverse environmental effects.

Method 5.3.4.5 acknowledges that where the other implementation methods do not work, regulatory actions may be necessary. Resource consents may be required for some discharges from contaminated land. Remediation of the land can be required through enforcement orders and abatement notices. The implementation method identifies that this is an option Waikato Regional Council is prepared to use if it is necessary to ensure that risks to the public and the environment are managed.

Methods 5.3.4.6 and 5.3.4.7 recognise that remediation of contaminated land should be enabled. In keeping with the principle of enabling contaminated land remediation, the application for resource contents for the activity will be considered without notification or the need to obtain written approval from affected persons. Methods 5.3.4.6 and 5.3.4.7 require that, as a minimum, a range of reports are prepared and submitted to Waikato Regional Council. If a resource user decides not to prepare reports in the nationally accepted formats specified, then the activity is a discretionary activity. This encourages the adopting of the Ministry for the Environment’s guidelines for reporting on contaminated sites and will achieve a nationally consistent standard of management for contaminated sites.

 

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