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Acid Sulfate Soils

Acid sulfate soils is the common name given to naturally occurring soil and sediment containing iron sulfides.  When these natural occurring sulfides are disturbed and exposed to air, oxidation occurs and sulfuric acid is ultimately produced.  For every tonne of sulfidic material that completely oxidises, 1.6 tonnes of pure sulfuric acid is produced.  This sulfuric acid can drain into waterways and cause severe short and long term socio-economic and environmental impacts.

In NSW, acid sulfate soils have been found in every coastal estuary and embayment between the Victorian and Queensland border. It is estimated that there are over 400,000 hectares of acid sulfate soils in NSW being impacted by existing and new activities.

Acid Sulfate Soil Manual

The Acid Sulfate Soils Manual (ASS Manual) forms part of an 'all of government' approach to the management of acid sulfate soils in New South Wales. In regard to development consent, particular note should be taken of Section 2 - Assessment Guidelines and Section 3 - Management Guidelines.