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Nelson HAIL Sites

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What are HAIL sites?

The HAIL is a compilation of activities and industries that are considered likely to cause land contamination resulting from hazardous substance(s) 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.

The fact that an activity or industry appears on the list does not mean that hazardous substances were used or stored on all sites occupied by that activity or industry. Nor does it mean that a site used by that industry will always have hazardous substances present in the land. The list just highlights that there is a greater probability of site contamination occurring than for other uses or activities. Download a copy of the Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL).

Identification of HAIL sites in the Nelson City Council region

Nelson City Council has made a database of all the areas of Nelson where our information shows that HAIL activities are taking or have taken place. This is called the HAIL site database. Research has been done using historical photos, trade directories and property information to establish which areas of land in Nelson could be at risk of contamination because they are likely to have been used for HAIL activities in the past. For example, if the land was once an orchard and chemical sprays were used, or perhaps it was a farm that had a sheep dip or a fuel tank, there is a risk of soil contamination.

Council and the community need to be able to identify HAIL sites to know where to apply the National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health (NESCS).  It’s important to note that this is a land use assessment and no soil testing has been carried out by Council. Inclusion on the database does not mean that soil contamination is present.

Land Information Memorandum (LIM) and Project Information Memorandum (PIM) note

When a LIM or PIM is requested for a property included in the database, a statement will be included saying that the property has been used for an activity listed on the HAIL, and a copy of the site summary report(s) will be attached. The LIM/PIM statement is clear that inclusion on the database does not automatically mean that the soil is contaminated. The exact wording of the LIM statement depends on the Site Status category. There are six different Site Status categories (see below)  and these will be different for each property.  Some properties may have more than one category identified. To talk to a Council officer about the HAIL site information we hold, please call us on 546 0200 or email equiry@ncc.govt.nz.

Site Status Category Description
Verified HAIL site: No Further Site Information Council has information to verify a HAIL activity on site, but is not currently aware of any other information relating to potential soil contamination for this site.
Verified HAIL site: Partial Site Information Council has information to verify a HAIL activity on site and holds some additional relevant information for this site. However the information is not sufficient to assess the site against the National Environmental Standard for Contaminants in Soil.
Verified HAIL site: Meets NES Guidelines Council has information to verify a HAIL activity on site. A Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) report is on file which confirms that the site meets soil contamination guidelines and standards for the land use at the time of sampling.
Verified HAIL site: Does Not Meet NES Guidelines Council has information to verify a HAIL activity on site. A Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) report is on file which confirms that there are soil contaminants present on the site at levels that do not meet soil contaminant guidelines and standards for the land use at the time of sampling.
Verified HAIL site: Partially or Fully Remediated Site Council has information to verify a HAIL activity on site, and holds some other relevant information indicting that the site has been partially or fully remediated to meet historic or current standards. However the site has not been assessed against the National Environmental Standard for Contaminants in Soil.
Verified HAIL site: Managed Site Council has information to verify a HAIL activity on site, and holds some other relevant information indicting that the site is specifically managed to minimise potential soil contamination exposure.

What does the National Environmental Standard (NES) for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health 2012 mean for property owners?

Council's information does not stop you continuing to use your land in the way you always have. However, the requirements of the NES for managing contaminated soil may be triggered if you want to carry out any of the following activities on your land:

  • remove or replace an underground fuel storage system;
  • sample the soil to determine contamination;
  • disturb the soil (earthworks);
  • subdivide the land;
  • change the use of the land.

In some cases you may need to apply for resource consent.

The NES does not impose additional requirements on landowners in the following circumstances:

  • existing uses (including activities consented before 1 January 2012) on HAIL sites;
  • land where a detailed site investigation report exists and shows that contaminants in the soil are at or below background concentrations;
  • changing the use of HAIL land to a use that is not reasonably likely to harm human health
  • land within your property that was not used for any purpose described on the HAIL. That is, the regulations only apply to the actual area that is the HAIL site; 
  • subdivision of production land that does not stop being production land;
  • sampling or disturbing soil on production land, such as an orchard or market garden that is also HAIL land - unless the activity is near the house or involves removing or replacing a fuel storage system.

For more information on the NES for Managing Contaminated Soil please go to www.mfe.govt.nz. Or you can download the Ministry for the Environment’s Landowners and Developers Information pamphlet below. You can also pick up a copy of this brochure at Nelson libraries or the Council Customer Services Centre at Ground Floor, Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street.

Soil Sampling

To meet the NES

Inclusion on the HAIL site database does not mean that the soil must be tested. You are welcome to provide us with soil testing information if you wish to, but there is no requirement from Council for you to do this. However, if you have reason to believe your soil is definitely contaminated you could get it tested. Read on for more information.

Where the NES requires that a preliminary or detailed site investigation is done as part of a proposed change to land use or earthworks at a potentially contaminated site, that must be done by a "Suitably Qualified and Experienced Person” (SQEP).

This means that soil sampling done by anyone other than a SQEP can’t be accepted as evidence of the contamination status of the site.

A SQEP has to be well qualified and have lots of experience assessing potentially contaminated land. Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council hold a joint list of SQEP’s who can provide contamination assessment. See a copy of the current list here (22KB PDF)

For your own information

Some people may wish to have soil tested for their own peace of mind. There is no specific requirement for this type of testing.

However, it can be better to get a SQEP to do the sampling. That way you’ll know the samples have been taken correctly, in the right places and you’re testing for the most likely contaminants (depending on previous land use).  This will help to make sure you get an accurate assessment.

If you want to take your own samples, you should contact an analytical laboratory for a quote to analyse samples for the contaminants of concern. You should ask the chosen lab to supply a sample container and instructions for delivering the sample back to the lab.

In general, soil samples should be taken using clean equipment to avoid cross contamination. A clean stainless steel trowel or core sampler is ideal. Samples should be taken at a depth of 75mm below the surface to be representative and placed in a suitable container as advised/provided by the lab.

Downloads and links

Maps

You can search on this map for a closer view of your property to see if it is affected. To do this type your address in the search box and press enter (eg 110 Trafalgar Street). The purple shapes indicate identified HAIL sites. One site often covers multiple properties because of land subdivision.