Environmental Engineering

The environmental group at RCA Australia has extensive local knowledge of Newcastle history and contamination, with comprehensive experience undertaking a broad range of environmental investigations across NSW and Australia.

Environmental Site (Contamination) Assessment

RCA Australia work with developers and private landowners to formulate the most appropriate assessment in accordance with the NSW EPA guidelines to enable Council to meet their obligations regarding the consideration of the suitability of the site for the development.

RCA Australia will explain our expectations of the contamination issues from our experience in the area, with other projects and with the relevant Council in our proposal and will fully detail the scope of work and what we expect to be able to provide based on the recommended scope of work. 

Acid Sulfate Soil Assessment and Management Plans

Acid Sulfate soils (ASS) are naturally occurring sedimentary soils which when exposed to oxygen can rapidly generate acid which can have significant environmental effects.

Assessment, if required, is undertaken by collection of soil samples from 1m below the depth of proposed excavation in accordance with the Acid Sulfate Soil Manual and analysed by a NATA accredited laboratory to quantify the potential impact of the ASS.  If the results are in excess of the Manual’s criteria, RCA Australia will recommend that a Management Plan is prepared to identify how the risk can be reduced / managed and/or how soil must be treated to remove the risk.

Waste Classification

If soil is leaving the site, it is waste.  Even if it is clean, it is waste and you need to characterise the material in accordance with NSW waste legislation.  RCA Australia’s assessment comprises a review of desktop resources (aerial photography, Council and NSW EPA contamination documentation), a site inspection and a limited number of samples to verify the contamination status of the soil.

RCA Australia will work with the client to ensure resource recovery orders, DA consents and EPA guidelines are adhered to.

Hazardous Materials Assessment

RCA Australia undertakes hazardous material assessment (HMA) by detailed inspection of the exterior and interior of the structure proposed for demolition. This detailed inspection may also require laboratory analysis of samples taken.

RCA Australia provide a detailed assessment report, outlining where hazardous materials were suspected or ruled out and providing sample results. If RCA Australia identify hazardous materials we will provide a management plan suitable for provision to Council that identifies the responsibilities of relevant parties, if licensed contractors are required, the management measures to be undertaken to reduce risk including PPE and decontamination procedures as appropriate and waste disposal requirements.

RCA Australia can also undertake monitoring (asbestos / lead in air) during demolition if required by Council and/or preferred by you. 

Air Quality Assessment

Some developments can generate various types of air emissions (dust, odour, chemicals) and Council may ask for an assessment to ensure that there won’t be a detrimental impact to the surrounding area from those emissions. RCA Australia can provide both Preliminary Air Quality Impact Assessment and Detailed Air Quality Impact Assessment (including computer dispersion modelling) reports.

Other services

RCA Australia also provide the following services:

  • Occupational hygiene monitoring
  • Preliminary hazard analysis
  • Compliance dust, surface and groundwater, soil vapour and landfill gas monitoring.
  • Reporting support including Annual Returns.