Change in the overall contaminant status of contaminated sites with time, the quantity of new contaminated material generated each year and the estimated value of the environmental liability associated with all contaminated sites in the Australian Antarctic Territory and Australian sub-Antarctic islands.
TYPE OF INDICATOR
There are three types of indicators used for State of ... the Environment reporting:
1. Describes the CONDITION of important elements of a system;
2. Show the extent of major PRESSURE exerted on a system;
3. Determine the RESPONSE to either condition or changes in condition of a system.
This indicator is one of: PRESSURE
RATIONALE FOR INDICATOR SELECTION
Contamination serves as a direct indicator of human disturbance to the natural environment. The Madrid Protocol requires clean up of waste disposal sites and abandoned work sites. It also requires each Party to prepare an inventory of past activities so that activities, and contamination associated with them, can be taken into account when planning future scientific programs.
This indicator provides a very direct measure of progress towards satisfying these obligations. It also provides a record of the trend of contamination through time. As contaminated sites are actively managed the number of high priority sites should be reduced.
Identification and assessment of past and present contamination is an essential step in fulfilling these objectives. This indicator will represent progress achieved in documenting and assessing contaminated sites. It also provides a record of the trend of contamination through time.
DESIGN AND STRATEGY FOR INDICATOR MONITORING PROGRAM
Spatial scale: Geographic coverage is Latitude (-70 to -53) Longitude (+60 to +160).
Frequency: Data downloaded directly from the Australian Antarctic Division Contaminated Sites Register. Yearly up-date on 30 June.
Measurement technique: Sites are sampled and analysed to characterise contamination and are surveyed to estimate volumes. Information on each site is collated in the Contaminated Sites Register and selected fields from the register are reproduced in the SIMR.
The primary data for this indicator is held on the Australian Antarctic Division's Contaminated Sites Register. The register stores information on areas known to be, or strongly suspected of being, contaminated. Data on each site has been obtained from site survey, published literature and a series of unpublished reports. It is updated when new information becomes available on previously contaminated sites or when additional sites are contaminated.
Contaminant Status: Information on the contamination status of sites is collated in the Australian Antarctic Division Contaminated Sites Register. Data from selected fields from the register are downloaded directly to SIMR. Each contaminated site is classified according to its contaminant status using the following categories,
-Potentially Contaminated - records suggest the site may be contaminated but no sampling has been done to confirm the contamination status
-Assessed as Not Contaminated - a site that has been sampled and found not to be contaminated
-Assessed as Contaminated - a site that has been sampled and found to be contaminated. Risk assessment and an action plan are needed.
-Remediated - a site for which remedial action has been completed and contamination reduced to an acceptable level.
Quantity of new contaminated material generated: Every incident which results in environmental contamination must be reported using the Incident Reporting system. This will trigger a new record in the Contaminated Sites Register and the record will include an estimate of the quantity of contaminated material at each site. Each year the quantity of new contaminated material generated in the past year will be downloaded directly from the Contaminated Sites Register to SIMR.
Cost of the environmental liability: The liability associated with contaminated sites is calculated as the estimated cost of removal or in situ remediation of contaminated material multiplied by the quantity of material of each category of waste. Included in the calculation of costs are the actual expenditure for site remediation including direct budget allocation and the attributed cost of shared logistics support such as shipping and station facilities. The estimate of cost per unit quantity will be refined and improved as the AAD gains experience in contaminated sites remediation. When the estimate of the cost of remediating contaminated material is revised, the effect of this on the value of the overall environmental liability will be explained in the Custodian Evaluation.
LINKAGES TO OTHER INDICATORS
Linked to the risk assessment of contaminated sites and the remediation of contaminated sites indicators.