A new type of assessment to determine whether an Environmental Audit is required for a site, is introduced in Environment Protection Act 2017 (EP ACT). The assessment is called a Preliminary Risk Screen Assessment (PRSA) will be primarily undertaken as part of the planning process. 53X Environmental Audits for land use suitability have been replaced by a PRSA and Environmental Audits under the new Act (EP ACT).
The purpose of a PRSA is:
To assess the likelihood of the presence of contaminated land.
To determine if an environmental audit is required; and
If an environmental audit is required, to recommend a scope for the environmental audit
A PRSA can only be conducted by an Environmental Auditor appointed under the EP Act. On completion of a PRSA, an appointed environmental auditor must prepare a PRSA statement accompanied by a PRSA report, which includes a review of the information collected for the PRSA, the reasons for the findings in the PRSA Statement and any other prescribed matter. It is the Environment Protection Authority’s expectation the investigation process for a PRSA will be consistent with a Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) in accordance with the National Environmental Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 1999.
If an Appointed Auditor completes a PRSA and determines that an Environmental Audit is required, the Auditor is to recommend a scope for the Environmental Audit. Where an audit is recommended the auditor that carried out the PRSA can be engaged for the audit, or another auditor can be engaged by the person who has requested the audit.
The introduction of PRSAs (Preliminary Risk Screen Assessment) represents a sensible approach to assessing whether there is the potential for a site to be contaminated. In view of the preliminary nature of the assessment, it can be a cost-effective means of determining whether an Audit is necessary. This will lead to cost savings for projects which would previously have required a 53X Environmental Audit to determine if all beneficial uses of the land could be protected.
Managing Director Mr. Peter J Ramsay is an EPA (Environment Protection Authority) Appointed Environmental Auditor (Contaminated Land and Industrial Facilities) and can conduct Preliminary Risk Screen Assessments to determine whether an Environmental Audit is needed for a particular parcel of land. In some situations, it will be obvious at the outset that an Environmental Audit will be necessary. For Example, where land is known to be contaminated and could prevent the proposed use such as where a leaking underground petroleum storage system is present on the land. Peter J Ramsay & Associates has extensive experience in environmental audits, due diligence and risk assessments which provides our firm with a solid foundation to undertake Preliminary Risk Screen Assessments and Environmental Audits.
From more information on Preliminary Risk Screen Assessments, please call Chris Trim or Peter Ramsay on (03) 9690 0522.
Please visit our website at www.pjra.com.au for more information regarding our services and expert team.