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National Remediation Framework

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National Framework for Remediation and Management of Contaminated Sites in Australia

CRC CARE is developing a National Remediation Framework (NRF) to provide practical guidance to practitioners and regulators.

The Framework will:

  • complement the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure
  • harmonise guidance and best practice in the remediation and management of contaminated sites in Australia
  • be congruent with the harmonisation objectives of the former COAG Standing Council on Environment and Water
  • not be legally binding
  • not impinge on the policy and decision-making prerogatives of the states and territories
  • adopt a modular approach so that it may be readily updated as circumstances require.

Background

Strategic guidance and oversight for the development of the framework is provided through the National Remediation Framework Steering Group, which includes representatives of State and Territory environmental agencies, as well as industry and other parties.

In developing the framework CRC CARE focussed on developing harmonised guidance for the practicalities of cleaning up contaminated sites as well as regulatory practice, building upon good practice in the profession. The development and use of the national framework for remediation has strong support from contaminated sites assessors and remediation practitioners, and will be a significant boon to the site contamination industry and community in Australia.

Final consultation

The NRF comprises a series of documents that were developed and released in stages over the last 5 years, inviting comment and feedback.

From November 2018 to March 2019, the complete package of documents was made available for the final consultation prior to completing the framework. 

National Roadshow – February 2019

In February 2019, CRC CARE conducted a national roadshow on NRF across all eight Australian capital cities to encourage and facilitate end-user input during the public consultation period (November 2018 to 31 March 2019).

Organised in collaboration with State and Territory environmental protection agencies, each Roadshow session included (click on links to download the presentations):

  • an overview of the NRF – development, structure and content
  • details of the 24 guidelines in the framework
  • input by experts and stakeholders during NRF development and future carriage of the NRF
  • a presentation by a representative of the relevant regulator, outlining the role of their agency in the site contamination matters (the development of the NRF was oversighted by a steering group which included all EPAs).

The roadshow meetings were attended by around 300 people from a range of agencies and organisations involved with contaminated sites (as well as interested members of the broader public), including:

  • State and Commonwealth government agencies (environment, health, infrastructure, defence and planning)
  • local governments 
  • consultants, including auditors
  • construction
  • health and safety 
  • airports
  • petroleum and mining industry
  • law firms
  • universities.

NRF roadshow attendance chart

Participant numbers were highest in the larger cities, and those in the smaller jurisdictions were proportionately high. The engagement during the presentations indicated strong support for the NRF, and there was keen interest to see it finalised and made available. 

Feedback from the current consultation period will be taken into account in updating the current package of NRF guidelines. The updated version will be considered by the NRF Steering Group in mid-2019, when it is expected that the NRF will be finalised as a CRC CARE project, and referred on to the Heads of EPA (HEPA) for consideration.


How to submit feedback

The final consultation period closed on 31 March 2019

Viewing comments from earlier rounds of consultationIf you would like to view previously submitted comments, please email a request to Dr Joytishna Jit, Research Fellow, CRC CARE Best Practice Policy Program, at joytishna.jit@crccare.com

Draft documents for consultation

A. Development of remediation action plan

  1. Containment
  2. Chemical immobilisation and solidification
  3. Bioremediation
  4. Soil Washing
  5. Thermal desorption
  6. Excavation
  7. Soil vapour remediation
  • A4 Technology guides (groundwater)
  1. In-situ air sparging
  2. In-situ chemical oxidation
  3. Monitored natural attenuation
  4. Barrier systems
  5. Pump and treat
  6. Skimming

B. Implementation of remediation action plan

C. Post-remediation considerations

For more information:

Introduction to the National Remediation Framework