PLANS to restore contaminated land at a former processing site in Urunga have been approved by the Department of Planning and Environment.
The land was contaminated by a processing plant that operated 30 years ago, which discharged contaminated waste onto the site and adjoining wetland.
Security fences were put up around the site in 1995 to prevent access in the interests of public health.
Crown Lands purchased the site from private landowners in 2012, and now plans to repair the damage that may lead to it being open for community use in the future.
A Department of Planning and Environment spokesman said the approved remediation work will involve clearing vegetation and digging up around 25,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil.
"The contaminate dsoil will be treated to make it safe before it is returned to the site," the spokesman said.
"The landscape will then be made safe and new plants and trees will be established.
The clean-up work will take around four to six months to complete and will employ up to 20 people for the duration of the project.
The proposal was put on public exhibition late last year for community feedback during which a number of potential issues were raised including whether disturbing the soil during the remediation work would impact water quality downstream.
"The Department has closely examined the potential impacts and found the plans will manage any risks of further contamination and should be approved," the spokesperson said.
"Remediating the site will fix this significant contamination that has been left untreated for around 30 years, reducing the risk to public health and the environment."
To view the Department's assessment of the proposal, visit www.majorprojects.nsw.gov.au.