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    Finding out more about your land

The only way to be sure if your land is contaminated is to seek professional advice from a suitably qualified and experienced practitioner (SQEP) who has experience in dealing with land contamination.

 

There are a number of things that you can do to find out more about your land.

You can:

  • Check the Ministry for the Environment Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL). This is a compilation of activities and industries that are considered likely to cause land contamination resulting from hazardous substance use, storage or disposal. The HAIL is intended to identify most situations in New Zealand where hazardous substances could cause, and in many cases have caused, land contamination. Has one of these activities been carried out on your property? If so, then your land could be contaminated and could be included on the LLUR.
  • Check the Environment Canterbury Listed Land Use Register (LLUR). The Listed Land Use Register (LLUR) is a publicly available database that identifies sites where hazardous activities and industries have been located throughout Canterbury. Environment Canterbury has identified these sites and maintained the database for some years and has sped up the process since the Canterbury earthquakes because people rebuilding houses, repairing foundations or repairing earthquake-damaged land (all of which means soil is disturbed) should know about potential contamination before starting work. You can check out the LLUR here.
  • Check for physical signs commonly associated with contamination: including odours, stains, or the presence of storage tanks, and/or structures (e.g., sheep dipping trenches, tank pits).
  • When purchasing a property obtain a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) or a Property Information Memorandum (PIM) before you confirm your purchase. If you don’t investigate the potential for contamination and then find that the property is contaminated, you may be responsible for cleaning it up. You can ask the vendor and real estate agent about potential land contamination.  If you are selling a property and you are asked about land contamination you must reveal any information regarding contamination that you are aware of. You cannot mislead a prospective purchaser about the state of the property.