Presenters: Chris Hillman, Tonkin & Taylor Ltd, James Corbett Auckland Council
Presentation title: Asbestos in soils: When do the New Zealand regulations apply?
Asbestos is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant and a hot topic the length of New Zealand. Large scale removal of older buildings is ongoing for the Canterbury rebuild, and elsewhere in New Zealand removal of older buildings is fuelled by population growth and the general economic upturn. There is a serious gap in understanding of how asbestos in soil is regulated in New Zealand. The recent NES, and current national interest in asbestos management, means it is timely to consider the key matters for contaminated land practitioners. This paper will look at which New Zealand regulations are relevant to the presence of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) in, and on, soil and will also examine how these regulations are applied. In particular, guidance will be provided on how the NES applies to ACM, which guidelines are appropriate (USEPA, UK or Dutch may be more appropriate than the NEPM or Western Australia guidelines) and how to decide if the proposed activity is controlled or restricted discretionary. We will also discuss when the new Asbestos Regulations and the Health Act apply. The paper will also briefly cover some of the basics of asbestos fate, transport and health risks. There is still a lot of confusion about the basics. How many fibres cause health issues? How does asbestos behave in the environment? Are there background concentrations? These issues are starting to be discussed in various forums regionally and it is appropriate that we discuss these through WasteMINZ, which provides a uniquely national assembly of professionals to discuss these matters.
Event: WasteMINZ Conference 2014
Date: Wednesday 23 October 2014