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Appendix B: Sample Notification Letters

The following sample letters are intended as a starting point for local authorities to modify according to their requirements.

Sample letter A: initial site registration

To the site owner

<Address 1>

<Address 2>

<TOWN/CITY>

Dear Sir/Madam

Address:

Legal description:

Site number:

Registration of site on <regional council name> register

<Regional council name> has a responsibility under the Resource Management Act 1991 for the investigation of land for the purposes of identifying and monitoring contaminated land. For that reason, the council is compiling a register of sites that have been shown to be contaminated or have been used for activities that could cause contamination. The register is based on a national classification system developed by local authorities in conjunction with the Ministry for the Environment.

The purpose of this letter is to advise you that your property (or part of your property), referred to as a "site", has been identified for inclusion on the register. The council has received information about your site and as a result has reviewed that information and prepared a report detailing the background information and reasons for inclusion. The report and other information about your site are held on <regional council name><file number>. As the site owner you have access to all information held about your site.

Assessment of your site (delete whichever section is not applicable)

Staff at <regional council name> have reviewed information on past or present activities on your site. It is proposed that your site be recorded on the register as 'land-use information'.

(Choose one or more of the following sections.)

  • The site has been reported as one that appears on the Hazardous Activities and Industries List, but the reported use has not been confirmed.
  • The site has been confirmed as one that appears on the Hazardous Activities and Industries List.
  • Investigations indicate that there are no hazardous substances present at the site. The site was associated with an activity or industry that uses, stores or disposes of hazardous substances, but investigations indicate that hazardous substances are at background concentrations or below.
  • Investigations indicate that there are no hazardous substances present at the site. The site previously had hazardous substances present, but the site has been remediated to reduce concentrations of those hazardous substances to background concentrations or below.
  • Investigations indicate that there are hazardous substances present at the site, but indicate that any adverse effects or risks to people and the environment are considered to be so low as to be acceptable.
  • The site has been investigated. Investigations indicate that there are hazardous substances present at the site, but indicate that any adverse effects or risks to people and the environment are managed.
  • Investigations indicate that there are hazardous substances present at the site; however, there is insufficient information to quantify any adverse effects or risks to people or the environment.

If it can be shown that the activity only took place on part of the site, this will be noted on the register.

or

Staff at <regional council name> have reviewed investigation information at your site and have confirmed that hazardous substances present on your site are reasonably likely to have significant adverse effects on the environment. Accordingly, it is proposed that your site be recorded on the register as 'contaminated land'. Your site fits within the definition of 'contaminated land' in the Resource Management Act 1991.

Opportunity for input

If any of this information is incorrect or you would like to discuss the proposed registration of your site, you may contact me on <phone number> or provide any additional information in writing to the council by <insert date>.

The recommendation that your site be placed on the register will be made to the <senior local authority position>, who will review the recommendation, and any further information that may be presented, and decide if it is appropriate for the site to be included on the register under this category. You will be notified of the decision and will have the opportunity to disagree with or discuss the decision.

Once the proposed classification of your site is decided, we will advise <territorial authority name>. A copy of the information we will provide to <territorial authority name> will be forwarded to you. The information about your site may be released in response to requests for information, such as a Land Information Memorandum. The information about your site will also be available for <regional council name> to use in response to enquiries.

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

<name of local authority officer>

CONTAMINATED SITES OFFICER

Sample letter B: notification of additional information or proposal to change current registration category

To the site owner

<Address 1>

<Address 2>

<TOWN/CITY>

Dear Sir/Madam

Address:

Legal description:

Site number:

Additional information received / Notification of change of category on the<regional council name>register (delete whichever is not applicable)

<Regional council name> has a responsibility under the Resource Management Act 1991 for the investigation of land for the purposes of identifying and monitoring contaminated land. For that reason, the council holds a register of sites that have been shown to be contaminated or have been used for activities that could cause contamination. The register is based on a national classification system developed by local authorities in conjunction with the Ministry for the Environment.

(Delete whichever section is not applicable.)

The purpose of this letter is to advise you of additional information received about your site and to invite you to examine the information the council holds and comment on it.

Your site is currently recorded on the register as 'land-use information'. This means < description and explanation>.<Regional council name> has received and reviewed additional information that indicates <state nature of information and what it indicates about the site>. The report and other information on your site are held on <regional council name><file number>. As the site owner you have access to all information held about your site.

If any of the additional information is incorrect or you would like to discuss it, you may contact me on <phone number>.

We will advise <territorial authority name> of the additional information. A copy of the information we will provide to <territorial authority name> will be forwarded to you. The information about your site may be released in response to requests for information, such as a Land Information Memorandum. The information about your site will also be available for <regional council name> to use in response to enquiries.

Or

Your site is currently recorded on the register as <category>. This means <category description and explanation>. The purpose of this letter is to advise you of additional information received about your site and the council's intention to change the classification of your site to <proposed category> and invite you to examine the information the council holds and comment on the proposed change.

<Regional council name> has received and reviewed additional information that indicates <state nature of information and what it indicates about the site>. The report and other information on your site are held on <regional council name><file number>. As the site owner you have access to all information held about your site.

The recommendation that your site's classification be changed will be made to the <senior local authority officer position>, who will review the recommendation, and any further information that may be presented, and decide if it is appropriate for the site to be noted on the register under this category.

Opportunity for input

If any of this information is incorrect or you would like to discuss the proposed classification change, you may contact me on <phone number> or provide any additional information in writing to the council by <insert date>.

The <senior local authority position> will review the proposed classification change and any further information that may be presented, and decide if the proposed change is appropriate for your site. You will be notified of the decision and will have the opportunity to disagree with or discuss the decision.

If the proposed change to the classification of your site is confirmed, we will advise <territorial authority name>. A copy of the information we will provide to <territorial authority name> will be forwarded to you. The information about your site may be released in response to requests for information, such as a Land Information Memorandum. The information about your site will also be available for <regional council name> to use in response to enquiries.

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

<name of local authority officer>

CONTAMINATED SITES OFFICER

Sample letter C: decision notification

Name of site owner

<Address 1>

<Address 2>

<TOWN/CITY>

Dear Sir/Madam

Address:

Legal description:

Site number:

Registration of site on <regional council name > register

Further to my letter of <insert date>, I am writing to inform you that the <senior local authority officer position> has reviewed information held about the above site and has decided that it is to be included on the <regional council name> register as <category>. This means <category description and explanation>. A list of the categories is attached for your information.

If you wish to object to this decision, please send the reasons for your objection by <objection date>. If the council does not receive any written notification of your objection by this date, the site category will be confirmed.

If the proposed classification of your site is confirmed, we will advise <territorial authority name>. A copy of the information we will provide to <territorial authority name> will be forwarded to you. The information about your site may be released in response to requests for information, such as a Land Information Memorandum. The information about your site will also be available for <regional council name> to use in response to enquiries.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the objection process in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

<name of local authority officer>

CONTAMINATED SITES OFFICER

(Attach copy of the site categories [see Appendix C], a copy of the information to be sent to the territorial authority and, if appropriate, the assessment report.)