Contamination on UCL and UMR, and the risks posed, are not being managed effectively. Lack of effective oversight, poor communication between the agencies and unreliable data contribute to DPLH, and hence DWER, having a limited understanding of the type or size of the risks they are dealing with, and not minimising contamination risks as required under the legislation.
Action to deal with contaminated sites is not timely. DPLH has made very slow progress in inspecting sites, and does not prioritise high risk sites for inspection. At current rates it would take DPLH over 50 years to inspect all of the remaining sites to determine levels of contamination. Further, DPLH’s reporting of inspection results to DWER often takes years, adding to delays in investigation and, if necessary, remediation.
DWER’s oversight of CSMA funded projects could be strengthened as projects can experience significant delays, prolonging the period of time that a site presents a risk to human health and the environment.