What is a HAIL Assessment, or soil contamination report?

Visions Consulting Engineers Limited is an approved service provider for HAIL assessments with the Far North and Whangarei District Councils. We are based in the Kerikeri area, and service all of Northland.

The National Environmental Standards (NES) for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health (Resource Management Regulations 2011) is a national regulation that councils are required to implement. This is to ensure that contaminated soil is identified and assessed before change of land use can be approved. The regulation will be applied upon application for a permit, building consent, or resource consent.

The Ministry for the Environment has identified a number of industry, agriculture, and horticultural activities which are known to have used hazardous substances which could potentially contaminate the land. The Ministry keeps an updated list of these activities known as HAIL activities (Hazardous Activities and Industries List), which can be found at www.mfe.govt.nz

The existence of contaminants in the soil becomes a concern when it is intended that the land be built upon, food grown on, or nearby water used for consumption.

We can assist to determine if your property has historically been used for an activity on the HAIL, and provide guidance to help work through the NES – HAIL assessment process.

We offer a four phase investigation to minimise costs to our clients, and an obligation free fee estimate.

  1. Phase 1: A property history investigation will be conducted; this may result in the determination that your site is unlikely to have had a HAIL activity, and no further investigation would be needed. We would prepare a brief report for you to submit to Council as proof.
  2. Phase 2: This phase may be needed if the results of phase 1 are inconclusive. Building on the information gained during phase 1 we would complete a detailed walkover assessment of the site and if needed, preliminary soil sampling; to show that your property has not had a HAIL activity.
  3. Phase 3: If phase 2 has shown that your site once had a HAIL activity, legislation mandates soil sampling and analysis. We would work with you to prepare a cost effective sampling plan for your site, carry out the soil testing, and provide a summary report of our findings. Hopefully the tests show that any contaminants present at the site are below acceptable limits and no further work is needed. Our report can then be submitted to Council showing that it is highly unlikely that there will be risk to human health.
  4. Phase 4: If the testing in phase 3 finds that contaminants are present and above acceptable limits for public health, you may need to remediate the soil. We can work with you to provide options for remediation and identify the solution best suited to your situation. Once the soil has been remediated, we can conduct validation sampling and reporting for submission to council. We can also assist owners with applications for funding assistance for soil remediation.

All work is carried out in accordance with national and international standards and guidelines.