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Commercial development groundwater remediation, Australia

We assessed soil, groundwater and soil vapour, implemented groundwater remediation of phase separated hydrocarbons and designed a soil vapour barrier and extraction system beneath the building footprint at a proposed commercial redevelopment in Mount Barker, South Australia.

This project balanced environmental and human health risks (based on scientific assessments) with the client's need to proceed with the development while satisfying regulatory frameworks.

Our role as technical advisor to the site owner involved assisting the client with both technical data and information gathering, while also negotiating on their behalf within the planning approval process and involvement of the Environment Protection Authority.

Our work included updating site history information, assessing soil, groundwater and soil vapour, preparing detailed risk assessment documentation and developing site based environmental management plans for future site management. Ground remediation included cut off trench, abstraction and re-injection of treated water.

Challenges

The main challenges were overcoming previous time delays (as a result of the planning approval process and the nature of previous work conducted at the site) and helping the client achieve a financial return on the land, which in turn is to be used to fund ongoing remediation objectives.

Solutions

Our approach focused on the client’s need to commence redevelopment of the site. We presented the scientific data in a context that could be readily understood by the local council and the EPA. It enabled potential risks to be assessed in a manner that was in proportion to the actual risks at the site. We enabled former obstacles and misunderstanding of the perception of risk to be managed through recommendations for ongoing site management measures, simultaneously with site development works.

Value and benefits

Our approach facilitated an ordered development for the client and enabled funding to be secured and site works to commence. This project balanced environmental and human health risks (based on scientific assessments) with the client's need to proceed with the development while satisfying regulatory frameworks.

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