The guidance content provides DEC's interpretation of when and how sites must be notified under the provisions of the Act. The content provides an interpretation of DEC's policy on reporting requirements for known or suspected contaminated sites under the Contaminated Sites Act of 2003. This document provides an interpretation of DEC's policy on reporting requirements for known or suspected contaminated sites under the CS Act.
Under Section 11 of the CS Act, anyone who knows or suspects a site is contaminated can report it to DEC. Section 11(4) of the CS Act requires certain parties to report known or suspected contaminated sites to DEC. Under section 11 of the CS Act, anyone who knows or suspects that a location is contaminated can report that location to DEC.
Section 11(6) of the CS Act provides for a six-month "long period" for reporting known or suspected locations from the date of commencement of the Act (ie 1 December 2006). Based on the provisions of the CS Act, DEC has interpreted the reporting provisions regarding known or suspected contaminated areas as described in the following paragraphs. All known and suspected sources and affected sites should be notified under Section 11 of the CS Act.
Where sites have an environmental protection license under Part V of the Environmental Protection Act 1986, there is still an obligation to report any known or suspected contamination under the provisions of the CS Act.
How must a site be reported?
Where further investigation or control of the contamination is required, this is arranged as much as possible via the Environmental Permit by adding conditions with regard to the control of the contamination.
What information is required to be reported?
Where technical reports relating to any investigation, monitoring or remediation of a site or similar are available, these reports must be submitted to DEC with Form 1 to assist in the classification of the site. For technical reports accompanying the initial Form 1 report submitted for a site, an auditor's report is not required to accompany the technical reports. After initial classification of a site by DEC, where further investigation, remediation or monitoring is required at the site, which will include the preparation of technical reports, the further works and reports may need to be audited by a contaminated site auditor, where required in terms of the CS. Act or Regulations, and is accompanied by a report from the auditor when submitted to DEC for assessment and reclassification of the site.
If the reports are incomplete (ie, the mandatory information required on Form 1 has not been submitted), DEC will not consider the report a valid report for purposes of the CS Act. However, DEC may ask the person who made the report to submit additional information. When the report does not contain sufficient grounds to indicate potential site contamination, DEC will likely designate the site report as unsubstantiated and DEC will take no further action to require investigation or management unless additional information regarding contamination or suspected contamination at the site is available. is guaranteed.
Where sites are reported under an approved reporting program under section 12 of the CS Act, the report for each site must include the same basic information as required for a Form 1 report (ie details of the person reporting the site, their relationship on the site, the location of the site and a description of why the person making the report knows or suspects that the site is contaminated). Where technical reports are available related to any investigation, monitoring, or remediation of a site, these reports must also be submitted to DEC to assist in the classification of the site. Where reporting is mandatory under the CS Act, failure to do so constitutes an offence.
Malicious reporting of sites
Provision of false or misleading information
Contaminated In relation to land, water or a site, it means having a substance present in or on that land, water or site in above background concentrations that pose or have the potential to pose a risk of harm to human health, the environment or any environmental value. Detailed Site Investigation An investigation which confirms and delineates potential or actual contamination through a comprehensive sampling and analysis program and risk assessment. Diffuse source Geographically widespread area of contamination, such as agricultural areas or large industrial complexes, which contain numerous point sources.
Health status of the ecosystem A condition of the ecosystem that is. a) Relevant to the maintenance of ecological structure, ecological function or ecological process and requiring protection against the effects of emissions or activities (as referred to in (a) and (b) of the definition of environmental damage); or. Exposure Contact of a chemical, physical or biological agent with the outer boundary of an organism, e.g. An exposure route describes a unique mechanism by which an individual or population is exposed to chemicals or physical agents at a location or originating from a location.
Each exposure pathway includes a source or release from a source, a point of exposure, and an exposure pathway. Preliminary field investigation An investigation consisting of a desktop survey, a detailed site inspection and, where appropriate, limited sampling. The scope of a preliminary site investigation must be as necessary to determine whether contamination is present or likely to be present and to determine whether a detailed site investigation is required.
Receptor An entity such as a person, animal, ecosystem, or structure that may be adversely affected by exposure to a pollutant. Remediation Generally, measures taken to eliminate, limit, correct, prevent, mitigate or remove any pollutant or the negative effects of a pollutant on the environment or human health. According to the Law on CS and Contaminated Areas, remediation includes: a) an attempt to restore the area to the state it was in before the pollution occurred;
Risk The probability that, in a certain time frame, an adverse outcome will occur in a population and/or ecosystem in a specified area exposed to a specific dose or concentration of a hazardous agent, i.e. , biological or physical agent on a specified human population or ecological system under specified conditions and time frame. Area An area of land, including underground water under that land and surface water on that land.
A site survey and/or historical records indicate that there has been a spill or leak of a substance that may pose a risk to human health, the environment or environmental value. Assuming that the information provides grounds for indicating possible contamination of the site, the site will be classified as potentially contaminated - investigation required and listed on the Register of Reported Sites. Environmental consultants engaged to conduct a site investigation in accordance with the DEC Contaminated Sites Management Series guidelines.
Assuming the data shows that the site is found to be non-contaminated after investigation, the site will be reclassified as non-contaminated - unrestricted use and the register of notified sites will be updated. Environmental consultants engaged to perform site remediation in accordance with DEC Contaminated Sites Management Series guidelines. Assuming the data shows that the site is remediated and fit for all purposes, the site will be reclassified as decontaminated, deleted from the public database and listed on the Register of Reported Sites.
The contaminated groundwater discharges into a nearby stream and causes damage (as determined by a risk assessment) to the ecology of the stream, people using the stream for recreation or drinking water, and the beneficial uses of the groundwater. Degreaser (containing solvents) at a mechanic shop has been disposed of in a sump over many years and the site is near a wetland. Service Station Inventory records maintained at the site identified the loss of fuel product over a period of time.
Prior to the enactment of the CS Act, an area was thoroughly investigated by an environmental consultant in accordance with the DEC. No other potentially polluting activities have been found at the site since remediation was completed, and there are no other suspected contaminants at the site. This site does not need to be reported to DEC because, at the time of the enactment of the CS Act, there is no reason to know or suspect that the site is contaminated.
Assuming there are no other suspected contaminants at the site and no land use change has occurred since the pesticides and fertilizers were applied, this site would not be required to report to the DEC. The Contaminated Sites Regulations 2006 contain exemptions from the definition of "contaminated" in the Contaminated Sites Act 2003 for substances present as a result of the proper application of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides to the soil, provided that there has been no change of use in which is sown after the application of fertilizer, herbicide or pesticide. Assuming there are no other suspected contaminants or fragments of asbestos-cement material in the soil at the site, reporting to the DEC would not be required for this site.
The Contaminated Sites Regulations 2006 contain exemptions from the definition of "contaminated" in the Contaminated Sites Act 2003 for substances that are part of a building or structure, or contained entirely within a building. An area where machinery is stored shows signs of fuel and oil spillage on the ground surface (i.e. the ground is stained).