37. Consequences of identification and notification of investigation areas

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  1. The Minister or MEC, as the case may be, may in respect of an investigation area contemplated in section 36, after consultation with the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry-
    1. cause a site assessment to be conducted in respect of the relevant investigation area; or
    2. in a notice published under section 36(1) or issued under section 36(6)-
      1. direct the owner of the investigation area; or
      2. direct the person who has undertaken or is undertaking the high risk activity or activity that caused or may have caused the contamination of the investigation area, to cause a site assessment to be conducted by an independent person, at own cost, and to submit a site assessment report to the Minister or MEC within a period specified in the notice.
    1. A site assessment report must comply with any directions that may have been published or given by the Minister or MEC in a notice contemplated in section 36(1) or (6) and must at least include information on whether the investigation area is contaminated.
    2. Where the findings of the site assessment report are that the investigation area is contaminated, the site assessment report must at least contain information on whether-
      1. the contamination has already impacted on health or the environment;
      2. the substances present in or on the land are toxic, persistent or bioaccumulative or are present in large quantities or high concentrations or occur in combinations;
      3. there are exposure pathways available to the substances;
      4. the use or proposed use of the land and adjoining land increases or is likely to increase the risk to health or the environment;
      5. the substances have migrated or are likely to migrate from the land;
      6. the acceptable exposure for human and environmental receptors in that environment have been exceeded;
      7. any applicable standards have been exceeded; and
      8. the area should be remediated or any other measures should be taken to manage or neutralise the risk.
  2. For the purposes of this section, land may be regarded as being contaminated at any particular time if the risk of harm to health or the environment could eventuate only in certain circumstances and those circumstances do not exist at the time that the site assessment is undertaken, but those circumstances are reasonably foreseeable.