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Acid Sulfate Soils (ASS)

Acid Sulfate Soils (ASS) is the common name given to naturally occurring soil and sediment containing iron sulfides. When the sulfides are exposed to air, oxidation occurs and sulfuric acid is generated.

Acid sulfate soils are wide spread in NSW and have been found in every coastal estuary and embayment between the Victorian and Queensland borders.

Local Environment Plans (LEP) developed by councils utilize planning guidelines developed by the NSW Government and commonly require developments to consider ASS issues at the site. The risk of ASS occurring on a site has been mapped by the NSW EPA (then Department of Land and Water Conservation) and developed into risk maps.

The assessment of ASS follows a highly-prescribed methodology and requires field and laboratory testing. An ASS management plan can be developed specifically for a site and will be tailored to the findings of the assessment.