Presenter:  Luke Austin, LADRA

Presentation title:  The use of the Western Australian asbestos guidelines in a New Zealand context

Asbestos was a common material in the building industry from the early 1950’s up until the late 1980’s. Its use was considered, at the time, to be best practice and therefore no record has been kept of where it was used or disposed of.    Now asbestos is regulated under the Health and Safety in Employment (Asbestos) Regulations 1998. These regulations require people to take all practicable steps to ensure work places are free of asbestos. This means that a building can be declared ‘clean’ of asbestos, but still actually contain asbestos in inaccessible locations.    Once asbestos becomes mixed into a soil matrix it becomes difficult to design a methodology:  1. for determining if the soil contains asbestos,  2. for its subsequent removal and validation.  This difficulty is due to the simple clean / not clean paradigm operating under the Asbestos Regulations.    With the absence of any approved guidelines in New Zealand for managing this situation, parties have looked overseas for guidance. Some parties are now referring to the Western Australian publication Guidelines for the Assessment, Remediation and Management of Asbestos-Contaminated Sites in Western Australia May 2009, for both the assessment of asbestos contamination and its subsequent remediation.    This paper will address how these guidelines align with the New Zealand regulations, and include why parts of these guidelines are not able to be used without adaption in the New Zealand regulatory environment.

Event: WasteMINZ Conference 2013

Date: Wednesday 23 October 2013