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Tier 1 Resources

These are the resources a New Zealand risk assessor may find useful for undertaking a Tier 1 assessment.

Key web sites:
General information: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/hazardous/contaminated/

General guidelines: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/hazardous/contaminated/guidelines.html

Hazardous activities and industries list: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/hazardous/contaminated/hail.pdf

Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality, Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council/Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand, 2000. The Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) has finalised the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality. The primary objective of these guidelines is: "To provide an authoritative guide for setting water quality objectives required to sustain current, or likely future, environmental values [uses] for natural and semi-natural water resources in Australia and New Zealand." These guidelines provide an authoritative reference for water quality management in New Zealand - particularly for toxic contaminants - and are a big step forward in helping us manage water quality. A comprehensive document providing guideline values for toxicants, physical and chemical stressors, etc. Includes guidelines for sediment quality, agricultural water use, biological indicator methods, etc. Available in printed form or to download from the MfE web site in individual chapters.

Guidelines for assessing and managing petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites in New Zealand, Ministry for the Environment, June 1999. Comprehensive document in 7 Modules available only from the web site in individual modules or a 4MB zip download.

Guidelines for Assessing and Managing Contaminated Gasworks Sites in New Zealand, Ministry for the Environment, August 1997. The Users' Guide includes information on assessment, acceptance criteria and site management. It is supported by modules of technical information. Comprehensive document in 6 Modules available only from the web site in individual modules or a 847KB zip download.

Timber treatment web site
Health and Environmental Guidelines for Selected Timber Treatment Chemicals, Ministry for the Environment, June 1997. Methods for identifying, assessing and managing sites contaminated with timber treatment chemicals. Comprehensive document in 7 Chapters can be downloaded here in either individual modules or a 1.07MB zip download.

Approved Document for New Zealand Building Code F1: Hazardous Agents On Site. Building Industry Authority, 1992. Standards New Zealand. A non-mandatory guidance document to support mandatory provisions in the Building Regulations 1992 to undertake site assessments to ensure that hazardous agents or contaminants on a site do not cause adverse effects to people. Specific guidance for site investigation work. See the Building Act website

Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Contaminated Sites, Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council/National Health and Medical Research Council, 1992. Non-mandatory guidelines to provide a framework for the proper assessment and management of contaminated sites, including goals of site cleanup to mitigate threats to public health and the environment. Specific guidance on all aspects of risk assessment and site investigation in New Zealand, including lists of sites associated with contamination and environmental soil quality guidelines. The document also provides a bibliography and reporting requirements.


Contaminated Site Management Guideline No. 1 - Guidelines for Reporting on Contaminated Sites in New Zealand, Environment Canterbury, April 2001. Developed in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment, and regional councils and unitary authorities in New Zealand to ensure consistency in the reporting on contaminated sites. The guideline includes checklists for reporting requirements for contaminated sites and for the removal of petroleum underground storage tanks, which are available as separate documents.

Draft Sampling Protocols and Analytical Methods for Determining Petroleum Products in Soil and Water, Oil Industry Environmental Working Group, May 1999. The objective of this guideline is to provide cost-effective, reliable information that will permit screening, assessment and where appropriate evaluation of the risks posed by contamination to human health and the environment.

Other useful guidance documents are available from here

  • MoH NZ Drinking Water Standards
  • MfE Water Quality Guidelines No.2: Colour and Clarity, June 1994
  • MfE Water Quality Guidelines No.1: Biological Growths, 1992
  • MfE Microbiological Water Quality Guidelines for Marine and Freshwater Recreational Areas, June 2002
  • Ministry for the Environment, You and Hazardous Substances, July 2001. An explanation of how to recognise hazardous substances and use them safely. 

Chemical Toxicity - Primarily Human Health Effects
IRIS is a database of human health effects that may result from exposure to various substances found in the environment established and maintained by the US Environmental Protection Agency. A comprehensive source of data for a wide range of substances on the probable, possible and known human health effects and animal toxicity.

ATSDR is a department of the US Department of Health and Human Services that provides toxicological information on chemicals. The ATSDR toxicological profile succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for each hazardous substance. The profile reviews the key literature and other pertinent literature is also presented with a focus on health and toxicologic information. Each profile begins with a Public Health Statement that summarizes in nontechnical language, a substance's relevant properties. Scroll down the page to find the chemicals covered in alphabetical listing.

Environmental Contaminants Encyclopedia created by the US National Parks Service. This site has general information about the 118 elements, compounds, and products listed in 'Entries, Filenames'. It is also a quick reference in helping one decide whether or not concentrations are above levels that might cause impacts upon living things.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory provides a database of chemical-specific toxicity values that contains the human health toxicological information needed to perform risk evaluations and assessments. Note that the toxicity values were developed for use in risk assessments using methods presented in Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund: Volume I - Human Health Evaluation Manual (RAGS).

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