How to contact us
This site is about
risk assessment (RA) for contaminated
sites in New
Zealand. Because there is little available guidance for ecological risk
assessment, this web site tends to focus more
strongly on ecological receptors. However, the web site is equally
appropriate for human health risk assessment, and provides specific
guidance on important aspects and methods where they differ
substantively from ecological methods.
Risk assessment for human health is largely similar in scope and
methodology to ecological risk assessment, although in practice, may be
somewhat simpler due to the fact that only one receptor, people, is
Purpose of this Web Site
This site and its links aim to provide specific information, guidance
and resources for undertaking risk
assessment at contaminated sites in New Zealand by:
- providing a general description of
risk assessment (RA) and its use on contaminated sites,
- identifying resources that are useful to the New Zealand
- providing specific guidance, in the form of a
for undertaking the risk assessment, and
- providing New Zealand-specific data for
copper, arsenic, and chromium, metal contaminants commonly found at
timber treatment sites.
The site can provide a general overview of RA for the non-specialist, but
can also assist practitioners with guidance and references relevant to specific
aspects of RA. A glossary of common terms is
Note: We strongly recommend seeking
the advice of a specialist especially when:
- the contaminated site is complex and/or
- there are a number of possible contaminants or potentially affected ecological
values or people,
- the justification for risk management decisions may be
tested (e.g., in court),
- the experience of the site manager or decision maker is
- remedial actions are difficult or expensive.
Initially this website was set up for providing specific information
about ecological tolerances for BTEX
(chemicals associated with petroleum products) and CCA
(chemicals associated with timber treatment). We have also
provided detailed information on asbestos, a common hazardous substance
in New Zealand, and on cyanide. At
this stage, ecotoxicity tests on BTEX in New Zealand have been difficult
to carry out. For further explanation
follow this link.
The site now also provides general assistance and
information about risk assessment at contaminated sites. This
information applies to
all contaminants (e.g. boron, lead) as well as environmental stressors e.g.
(landslide, dredging) that might have adverse
ecological or human health effects.
Philosophy - Site Design and Layout
This site is divided into two
This strand is designed to provide introductory information and methodological guidance
to assist the following groups of people:
- Any assessor/investigator undertaking a Tier 1 risk assessment or
- Regulatory authority staff from district or regional councils, or
unitary authorities including environmental health officers, consent
and compliance officers, and planners;
- Consultants in any field dealing with actual or potential
contamination of any media; research institutions,
universities or polytechnics; medical officers of health, public
- Lenders, valuers, insurers, loss adjusters, developers,
purchasers, vendors, real estate agents, surveyors and other parties
associated with transactions or developments involving land;
- Private landholders and site managers.
This strand is principally a collection of tools, resources and information
for the following groups of people:
- Any assessor undertaking Tier 2 or 3 risk assessments;
- Regulatory authority, Ministry of Health and other staff auditing
or reviewing Tier 2 or 3 risk assessments;
- Researchers in universities, crown research institutes and
government departments; and
- Overseas researchers.
The web site has been designed by
Chris Phillips and
Linda Lilburne with considerable input by the project
team. Most of the model and document reviews were done by Peter
Cochrane, and Tony
Cussins. Kathryn O'Halloran and Chris Hickey provided toxicological
A fictitious example of XYZ
Enterprises is used throughout this web site to provide examples of
what is required at various stages in the RA process.
Ggraphical icons are used to assist the user to locate certain items of interest.
Various stage in framework
|Complete listing of information sources including books, reports, databases, websites and models.
A sumary table of the key resources that a New Zealand
assessor would find useful at each stage of the RA framework is
provided - Key Resources at a
Zealand ecological toxicity test data are available for a number of
species from both terrestrial and freshwater aquatic ecosystems.
Table of Contents
A listing of all the pages in this web site (site map) can be
obtained from the Table of Contents.
A description of technical terms, phrases and abbreviations used in
the text is in the Glossary.
This web site is kindly hosted by Landcare Research, a
New Zealand Crown Research Institute.
Christine Bezar kindly edited the pages for