Twelve of Landserv’s environmental consultants came from our Melbourne and Geelong offices, alongside presenters and delegates from a range of related fields, industries and countries to attend CRC CARE’s 7th International CleanUp 2017 Conference on Site Remediation.

The CleanUp 2017 conference was held from 10 -14 September in Melbourne, Australia.

Major themes of the conference included advanced risk assessment techniques and remediation technologies, with many case studies focused toward emerging contaminants such as Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS).

Monday’s opening Plenary presentation by John Cherry was a highlight for Landserv’s groundwater scientists. We know him as co-author of Freeze and Cherry’s “Groundwater”, a staple text for hydrogeologists since 1979. A master of explaining complex science in a way we can all understand (and with a healthy dose of humour), his personal experiences with Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLs) and anecdotes made for very engaging listening.

As a key emerging issue, John highlighted concerns in the US with the widespread use of septic tank sewerage systems, which, together with agriculture and general chemical use, continue to contribute to trace-level contamination of groundwater on a broad scale. No doubt Australia is not immune to similar concerns and John’s presentation provided a timely reminder for us all to question and re-visit our findings and methods as new information becomes available.

During the remainder of the 3-day conference we were able to compare other’s experiences and insights with our own, in areas such as contaminated land remediation, landfill investigation / reporting and PFAS investigations including the ongoing development of investigation / risk assessment criteria.

The conference concluded with an interactive ‘Plenary Session’ for ABC Radio National’s ‘Big Ideas’, which featured a panel of experts examining emerging contaminants, such as PFAS and pharmaceuticals.

The keynote address engaged a range of experts within the research, assessment and regulation fields to speak on identification and risk assessment techniques for newly listed contaminants, whose potential human health and ecological impacts are largely unquantified.

Attending the conference provided Landserv’s contaminated land consultants with great insight into new practices and technologies from around the globe.

By Jessica Gillespie and Damien Chappell