The project owner, JCI Group Pty Ltd, represents a major manufacturer supplying to Australia’s construction industry who is looking to expand their manufacturing capacity. The site, covering over 10ha, will eventually be home to Australia’s largest aluminium extrusion facility as well as other industrial and commercial tenancies.
With an operational history as a large whitegoods manufacturing facility, as well as a former Council Depot and a munitions manufacturing facility, the site has been declared as Significantly Contaminated Land under the NSW Contaminated Land Management (CLM) Act 1997.
EI Australia was initially engaged to provide pre-purchase environmental due diligence, the main aims of which were to determine onsite and offsite contamination risks on the basis of environmental investigation results, as reported over the previous 10 years. In particular, correspondence with the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) identified a number of regulatory concerns, including the potential offsite migration of groundwater contaminated with chlorinated solvent chemicals. EI’s review reports assisted the vendor to finalise property transfer negotiations.
A significant aspect of this project to date has been the ability to work with all major project stakeholders cooperatively including the vendor, selling agent, Orange City Council and most importantly advocating to the EPA on behalf of the vendor, to achieve data gap identification and closure over a reasonable timeframe. The key to the success of this project has been EI’s ability to provide a strategic and responsible approach to closing off environmental issues, while collecting scientific evidence to support a DA for continued industrial land uses. This enables occupation of strategic buildings, while investigations and remedial works are ongoing on impacted parts of the site. Since the purchase of the site in late 2018, EI Australia has continued to work with all parties.
Given the main contaminants of concern are volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons – primarily Trichloroethylene (TCE) – site investigations by EI to date have included, but were not limited to, Sub-slab Soil Vapour Investigations, Indoor Air Quality Assessment and liaising with the EPA for the development of Voluntary Management Plans (VMPs). The VMPs specify agreed data gap closure tasks for the development of appropriate site remediation strategies.
As the project continues EI Australia’s expertise continues to assist the client to secure tenants for unaffected parts of the site by demonstrating the suitability of specific buildings for commercial and industrial occupation.
Next steps will be to conduct further investigations to assist with the Delineation of the Groundwater Contamination Plume, which will inform a site-specific Remediation Action Plan. Works will include supervision of remediation of CVOC-impacted groundwater, validation testing to confirm effective remediation, and preparation of a long-term Environmental Management Plan (LTEMP) to guide future commercial and industrial land uses.
All works being conducted are ultimately aimed at the protection of site workers, the prevention of offsite migration of contaminated groundwater and the lifting of the contaminated land declaration and associated site regulations, with EPA approval.