Site Assessment and Planning

10 Units

There are 160,000 potentially contaminated sites in Australia and an estimated 5 million globally. There is a need to manage these sites to protect human health and the environment and to enable economic development. Guidelines such as the National Environmental Protection Measure for the Assessment of Site Contamination (NEPM-ASC) 1999 in Australia and the Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination 2004 in the UK aim to establish a consistent approach to the assessment of site contamination to ensure the protection of human health and the environment and ensure contaminated land is made suitable for current or future land use.
The aim of this course is to train students in contaminated site assessment using the processes and principles given in the NEPM-ASC and international guidelines and to introduce students to the implementation of remediation strategies in managing contaminated sites. Teaching will be supported by practical application of site assessment methodologies to case studies.

Faculty Faculty of Science
School Global Centre for Environmental Remediation
Availability Semester 1 - 2018 (Callaghan)
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply the methodologies and protocols outlined in the National Environmental Protection Measure for the Assessment of Site Contamination (NEPM-ASC) to a site assessment project
  2. Analyse data gathered in a Preliminary Site Investigation to evaluate the status of a site and identify any data gaps that justify a further assessment
  3. Apply the conceptual Site Model (CSM) concept to identify possible contamination type and sources
  4. Assess the risk (to human health and the environment) presented by the contaminant(s) detected on site
  5. Develop a Detailed Phase investigation which includes a sampling plan that contains data quality objectives (DQO) and quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC)procedures implemented during sampling
  6. Conceptualise preferred remediation or disposal options for a given contamination problem
  7. Write an assessment report

Part A. Legislative Framework

  1. Introduction to NEPM and regulatory triggers for contaminated sites
  2. Introduction to contaminated site assessment frameworks from around the world including the UK and USA

Part B. Preliminary Site Investigation

  1. Overview of stage 1 assessment process
  2. Conceptual site model (CSM)
  3. Investigation and screening levels

Part C. Detailed site Investigation

  1. Data Quality Objectives
  2. The 7 steps DQO process
  3. Sampling design and QA/QC procedures
  4. Soil and groundwater sampling techniques 
  5. Site Specific Risk Assessment
  6. Utilising processes in NEPM for site-specific derivation of criteria

Part D. Reporting

  1. Producing a report from contaminated site assessment

Part E. Remediation

  1. Principles and drivers of remediation
  2. Remediation action plan


Assumed Knowledge Fundamental knowledge of chemistry and biology
Assessment Items
  • Report: Field trip report
  • Report: Site Assessment Report
  • Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Tutorial Report

Contact Hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 8 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 8 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 7 Weeks

Compulsory Requirements
  • General Course Requirements: 1. Field Study: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions.
Timetable 2018 Course Timetables for ERAR6001
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