Member for Murray Austin Evans today announced that Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation of Councils (JOC) has been awarded a $419,460 grant through the NSW Government’s $4 million Council Regional Capacity Building Program.

“This grant will enable Riverina and Murray JOC to employ a skilled contaminated land professional for up to three years,” Mr Evans said.

“Throughout that time, they will develop a contaminated land management policy framework, a register of contaminated sites and provide training on contaminated land management issues to local councils in Murray.”

“Their expertise will assist councils when they are dealing with land contaminations issues arising from historical underground fuel tank leaks or land which was formerly used for industrial activities, for example.”

“Bringing this expertise to our region and upskilling councils through training will help to protect our community and environment,” Mr Evans said.

This funding is part of a NSW Government commitment of $23.5 million over the next four years to improve the management of contaminated land in New South Wales.

“The officers can also help with planning the handover of responsibilities for Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS) from the EPA to councils,” Mr Evans said.

Under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act), the EPA regulates contaminated land where the contamination is significant enough to warrant regulation. Contaminated land that is not regulated by the EPA is managed by local councils through land-use planning processes.

The EPA will continue as the appropriate regulatory authority for UPSS matters up to 31 August 2019, after which councils will take over this role. The EPA will continue to work with councils to ensure integrated management and regulatory oversight of fuel handling and storage systems.