Environmental

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS

Our team can provide site investigations and lab testing for a range of environmental assessments commonly requested by councils for Development Application (DA) approval. Commonly requested assessments:

  • Salinity Assessment
  • Acid Sulfate Soil Assessment & Management Plan
  • In situ Permeability/Soil Infiltration
  • Wastewater Management Report
  • Contaminated land assessment
  • Asbestos ID
  • Waste Classification
  • VENM & ENM Assessments
SALINITY TESTING & ASSESSMENTS

A salinity assessment will ensure the correct building and engineering principals have been adopted for your development. Saline soil may have an adverse impact on developments when salt is drawn into the capillaries of bricks and mortar expands resulting in spalling. This process can cause the deterioration of bricks, mortar and concrete.

Although urban development can create a high salinity risk, towns and cities are often located in areas prone to salinity. These areas are usually at lower positions in the landscape, such as floodplains, in valley floors, or at the foot of a ridge.

In NSW, many towns and cities are currently affected by urban salinity. The predictions are that this will get steadily worse over the next 50 years if nothing is done (NLWRA 2001).

Urban salinity is of concern in Western Sydney, the Hunter and in many other rural towns in NSW including; Blayney, Boorowa, Canowindra, Condobolin, Cootamundra, Cowra, Crookwell, Dubbo, Forbes, Grenfell, Gunnedah, Harden-Murrumburrah, Junee, Lake Cargelligo, Leeton, Orange, Parkes, Queanbeyan, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Wellington, Yass and Young.

ACID SULPHATE SOIL ASSESSMENTS

We offer a preliminary assessment to determine whether acid sulphate soils are present and if the proposed works are likely to disturb these soils. We can also prepare management plans in accordance with council requirements.

Acid sulfate soils are naturally occurring soils, sediments or organic substrates (e.g. peat) that are deposited under estuarine conditions and typically found along the NSW coast. When exposed to air from excavation or drainage, the sulfides react with oxygen to form sulfuric acid, which in turn can release iron, aluminium and other heavy metals (particularly arsenic) within the soil.

INSITU PERMEABILITY/SOIL INFILTRATION

Some councils require a permeability test be carried out during construction of a home to determine the hydraulic conductivity. This test will assist the engineer in designing and selecting the correct drainage system. Calculate infiltration rate to aid design of absorption pits/trenches.

CONTAMINATED SITE ASSESSMENT

A contaminated soil/land assessment is typically carried out as a pre-purchase of land to determine if there is any detrimental contaminants in the soil or on the land. The other common use of this assessment is part of a Development Application (DA) process which Council’s use to determine if the site is suitable for the proposed development or if it requires remediation work to be carried out. The four phases of a Contaminated Land Assessment are:

  • Phase 1 – Preliminary Site Investigation
  • Phase 2 – Detailed Site Investigation
  • Phase 3 – Site Remedial Action Plan
  • Phase 4 – Validation and Site Monitoring Reports
SOIL DISPOSAL & WASTE CLASSIFICATION

We conduct soil sampling and testing for soil classification reports as per NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and your council requirements. If removing any soil off your site, soil has to be classified. The NSW EPA classifies waste into groups for appropriate management and disposal at licensed landfills:

  • Special Waste (i.e. asbestos waste)
  • Liquid Waste
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Restricted Solid Waste
  • General Solid Waste (putrescible)
  • General Solid Waste (non-putrescible) including
    Virgin excavated natural material (VENM)
  • Excavated natural material (ENM)
VENM & ENM ASSESSMENTS

Testing of in situ and stockpile soils for VENM and ENM is required for any soil that you plan to remove off the site. If the soil on the site is not classified as ENM or VENM, then it can not be reused in NSW.

Virgin Excavated Natural Material (VENM)
Virgin excavated natural material means natural material (such as clay, gravel, sand, soil or rock fines) that has been excavated or quarried from areas that are not contaminated. See EPA fact sheet for more details.

Excavated Natural Material (ENM)
Excavated Natural Material (ENM) is naturally occurring rock and soil (including materials such as sandstone, shale, clay and soil) that has been excavated from the ground and does not meet the definition of Virgin Excavated Natural Material (VENM) See EPA fact sheet for more details.

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