FAQs – Contaminated Site Auditors in WA

FAQs Contaminated Site Auditors WA

Please find below a list of Frequently Asked Questions relating to Contaminated Site Auditors in WA:

What is a Contaminated Sites Auditor?

A Contaminated Sites Auditor (CSA) is a highly experienced and qualified consultant who has been accredited by the Environmental Regulatory Authority (in Western Australia, this is the Department of Water & Environmental Regulation (DWER)) as being competent to assess the adequacy of investigation/ remedial work undertaken by other consultants and which a site owner/ occupier wishes to submit for consideration by the Authority. The CSA is required to make a recommendation to the Authority regarding an appropriate site classification, based on the work undertaken, under the Contaminated Sites Act, 2003.

What does a Contaminated Sites Auditor do?

Conduct an independent review of reports prepared by, as well as support for your Consultant in the preparation of key environmental documentation relating to the Site. The outcome of the Audit will be an assessment of the performance of the site investigations and any associated remediation, and ultimately the preparation of a Site Audit Report (SAR), which will include recommendation to DWER for the environmental classification of the Site for its intended purposes.

When is it mandatory to use a Contaminated Sites Auditor?

Under seven circumstances:

    1. An Investigation Notice has been issued by the DWER (under Pt 4, under S42, & 49 of the Contaminated Sites Act 2003, MAR required under S44, on the actions taken to comply with the requirements of the notice)
    2. A Clean Up Notice has been issued by the DWER (Pt 4, S42, 44 & 50 of the CSAct 2003)
    3. A Hazard Abatement Notice has been issued by the DER (under Pt 4, S42 & 51, MAR required under S44…).
    4. A Certification of Contamination Audit has been requested from the DWER in relation to the Site (under section 62(3) (e) of the CSAct 2003 and S29(2) (d) and 31(1) (a) of the Contaminated Sites Regulations 2006 an MAR is required to accompany the request.
    5. Report/s have been submitted to the DWER in relation to the Site as a ‘source site’ (‘where contamination has moved beyond the boundaries of the property on which it originated, to affect other properties’) (under S31(1) (b) of the CSR 2006 an MAR is required…
    6. Report/s have been submitted to the DWER (under S31(1) (c) of the CSR 2006 an MAR is required…) for the purpose of
      • complying or attempting to comply with another written law
      • a requirement or condition imposed under another written law (e.g. WAPC planning condition)
  1. A written request has been received from the DWER under section 31(1) (d) of the CSR 2006 for an MAR to enable the site to be properly dealt with under the Contaminated Sites Act 2003 due to:
    • the complex technical issues presented
    • inadequate reports or information provided
What is auditing?

An audit under the Contaminated Sites Act is an independent and critical review of investigation/ assessments, management plans and/or remediation reports prepared by a Consultant on behalf of a Client.

Why are sites audited?

Contaminated site audits are undertaken to allow the redevelopment of land impacted by former land uses (e.g. industrial/ waste disposal sites etc.)

What do Auditors produce?

A site audit report (SAR) or a mandatory audit report (MAR) summarises the data produced by the Consultant relating to the site, its landuse history, contamination, associated risk, management strategies employed and their validation. It assesses the adequacy of this work, identifies any gaps or omissions and their significance, and it’s adherence to statutory and other guidelines. It provides the justification and basis for a recommendation for a site classification. It will also detail any limitations on the Site for a proposed landuse, and any requirements for ongoing management or monitoring. The SAR/MAR accompanies Consultant reports reviewed by the Auditor which are submitted to the DWER.

Who signs off?

In Western Australia, the Department of Water & Environmental Regulation retains the formal designation and notification of a site classification. In reaching its decision, DWER is entitled to rely on the recommendation of the Auditor; however it is also entitled to take a differing view.

FAQs Contaminated Site Auditors WA

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