HAIL - Contaminated Land


August Weather Event 2022

Information relating to the recent weather event in Marlborough

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HAIL - Contaminated Land

Like the rest of New Zealand, Marlborough generally has relatively low concentrations of contaminants in the environment. However, despite this, as a result of past industrial, domestic, or agricultural activities or industries there is still a small legacy of contaminated sites in our region.

What is a contaminated site?

A site is contaminated when the soil and/or groundwater contains hazardous substances in concentrations significantly higher than normal background concentrations and it is, or is reasonably likely to have a significant adverse effect on human health and the environment.

Why is site contamination a problem?

Contaminated sites contain hazardous substances that potentially pose a threat to both the environment and human health. These sites are a greater problem when contaminants are close to buildings and people, or close to waterbodies and important habitats. It is therefore essential that when a contaminated site is identified it is investigated and managed if a risk is identified.

How can a site become contaminated?

There are a large number of activities both past and present that can result in site contamination. Examples of industries and/or activities that may have resulted in contamination the Marlborough region include:

  • Use of agrichemicals
  • Timber treatment sites
  • Disposal of wastes
  • Service stations

To help identify potentially contaminated sites The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) have put together a Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL). This is a compilation of 53 activities and industries that are considered likely to cause or have caused land contamination resulting from use, storage or disposal of hazardous substances.

How do I find out if my site is contaminated?

  • Find out what was the previous land use activity of the site and neighbouring sites
  • Check for physical signs of contamination ie; odours, stains, storage tanks
  • Consult the HAIL, which identifies specific land use activities that have the potential to cause site contamination,
  • Contact the Council for any information it may hold about the site
  • Arrange to engage a suitably qualified environmental consultant to undertake a site investigation using the framework and guidance presented within the Ministry for the Environment's Contaminated Land Management Guidelines

What are background concentrations?

A background concentration is a concentration of a substance that occurs naturally within the environment. Information can be found in the links and reports below. Marlborough District Council are currently reviewing the new Landcare reports.

Background concentrations can be found in the Cleanfill criteria report (Table 1).

View the report on the Cleanfill guideline acceptance

Please see Land Resources Scientist on how these are applied in the Marlborough region:

What is the role of the Marlborough District Council?

How the Marlborough District Council manages data and information on contaminated sites.
Go to 'What is the role of the Marlborough District Council page

Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to protect human health

The National Environmental Standard (NES) for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health came into effect in January 2012.
Go to 'Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to protect human health' page

Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL)

This Hazardous Activities and Industries List defines industries and activities which typically use or store hazardous activities.
Go to 'Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL)' page

Listed Land Use Register Categories for Marlborough

The Listed Land Use Register (LLUR) is an electronic database used by the MDC to manage information about properties that involve the use, storage or disposal of hazardous substances.
Go to the 'Listed Land Use Register Categories for Marlborough' page

Environmental Consultants

Information on environmental consultants in Marlborough.
Go to 'Environmental Consultants' page


Cleanfills are managed sites for disposal of clean fill material, but controlled use of disposal of material not suitable for clean fill may occur.
Go to 'Cleanfills' page

Sheep Dip Sites

Information and fact sheets on how to manage former sheep dip sites which may be contaminated.
Go to 'Sheep Dip Sites' page

Fact Sheets