Steele Law: Expert advisers contaminated land


In NSW, the contamination of land is regulated under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act) which is administered by the EPA.

The CLM Act empowers the EPA to take action with respect to land that is significantly contaminated. For example, the EPA can issue orders requiring that contaminated land be cleaned up or can sign off on voluntary proposals to address contamination.

The CLM Act creates a hierarchy of responsibility for land contamination with the persons who caused the contamination at the top, followed by the owners of contaminated land, and then the 'notional' owners of the land. The Act also imposes a duty upon persons to notify the EPA of contamination in certain circumstances.

Planning authorities are also obliged to consider the contamination status of land, including whether the land is suitable (or can be made suitable by remediation) for the relevant planning purpose, pursuant to State Environmental Planning Policy No 55 - Remediation of Land (SEPP 55).

Legal action with respect to land contamination can also be brought under the common law. For example, landowners whose land is affected by pollution emanating from a neighbours property, may have an action in private nuisance.

How we can help

Based in Sydney, we assist clients across NSW to resolve complex legal issues arising with respect to contaminated land. At Steele Law, we can help you by:

  • advising on the duty to report under Section 60;
  • advising on and assisting with the development of a Voluntary Management Proposal (VMP);
  • advising on your rights and obligations with respect to land contamination under the CLM Act and at common law;
  • representing you in legal proceedings commenced with respect to land contamination;
  • advising on your rights and obligations to deal with land contamination under SEPP 55; and
  • advising you on the procurement of a suitable Site Audit Statement for your proposed development.

Our experience

Examples of projects with respect to which we have demonstrated our experience advising on contaminated land can be found here.

Contact us

To see how we can help you, please contact us for a confidential and obligation free initial consultation.