To increase transparency on investigations into contaminated groundwater, the EPA has made a decade of data publicly available in map form.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has released its online groundwater contamination records in map form using Esri’s world-leading geospatial technology.
The maps will make it easier to view areas in South Australia where contamination has been reported or where possible contamination is being investigated.
The release of the spatial maps follows an EPA commitment to be more open and transparent and provide timely information of environmental incidents to communities and the public.
Since making their commitment, the EPA has revamped its website and released data on its Public Register regarding radiation licences.
EPA Chief Executive Tony Circelli said making the spatial maps freely available is another policy improvement initiative designed to increase public accessibility of information.
“The information the spatial maps portray is already available on the Public Register section of the EPA website, however the release of the maps acknowledges that many people may find the visual information more helpful,” Mr Circelli said.
“It’s important that anyone viewing these maps realises that they do not necessarily portray South Australian sites which are contaminated; what they show is records held by the EPA which date back to 1 July 2009.
“The maps can be used to view Groundwater Prohibition Area boundaries where the EPA has prohibited or restricted the taking of groundwater if site contamination affects or threatens groundwater and presents an actual or potential risk to human health.
“The maps can also be used to show notifications received by the EPA, under section 83A of the Environment Protection Act 1993, of site contamination that affects or threatens underground water which have been placed in the EPA Public Register.
“It’s important to realise that some of the information recorded is historic and some sites shown on the maps may have been remediated or the contamination has since been assessed and found not to pose a risk.”
David McDonald, smart government specialist for Esri Australia said adding this important new data from the EPA to the LocationSA mapping platform represented the state’s commitment to placing key information into the hands of constituents.
“This is a best practice approach from South Australia that demonstrates the importance of using spatial technology to deliver on smart government initiatives,” Mr McDonald said.
“This shift to making key data easier to discover and understand for all members of the community is an important step in enabling greater transparency and accountability for government.”