ACN 151 172 735     ABN 70 240 612 745     IRD 116 017 768


A Studio 40 Hoddle St Robertson NSW 2577
P 1300 789 719 or +61 2 4885 1136

Emerging Contaminants of Concern

The aims of this interest group are:

  • To improve awareness, build knowledge and disseminate information on emerging contaminants across the contaminated land and groundwater industry sectors (property owners, government, labs, consultants, contractors, auditors, regulators).
  • As assist with providing information that will improve the management of impacted sites, and minimise human health and ecological risks, as developments in the analysis, risk assessment and regulation of these contaminants occur, and as new technologies emerge for their remediation.
  • To increase collaboration within the sector to address concerns relating to emerging contaminants.
  • To help site owners / regulators to better understand emerging contaminants, then fill in the gaps that industry may be missing.

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Current Steering Committee Members (renewed each calendar year):


Ruth Jarman (Chair) – Environmental Risk Sciences

Ruth has 14 years’ experience in providing practical high level technical advice to assist clients in the environmental and contaminated land Industries. She specialises in providing support to environmental and health experts (including Environmental Auditors) and has been directly involved in the development of PFAS criteria. Ruth holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours) and a Masters in Applied Science (Toxicology and Risk Assessment). She is a Registered member of ACTRA. She is the proud owner of a 7-month-old baby boy, a white cat called Mouse and 4 chickens who will remain nameless as she can’t tell them apart.

Karl Bowles – Office of Environment & Heritage

Karl has a PhD in environmental chemistry. His career has included stints as a researcher for CSIRO, an environmental consultant, and he’s currently a senior scientist with NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Past work has included researching biogeochemistry of mercury, metal bioavailability to aquatic organisms, and measuring environmental impacts of underground coal mining. Currently he conducts environmental risk assessments and advises groups within NSW EPA on a wide range of contaminants including PFAS. Karl has lectured environmental chemistry at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Marc Centner – ALS Environmental

Marc Centner is currently Technical Manager for ALS Environmental in the APAC region with 30 years involvement in commercial laboratories in Australia. He has been a technical leader for PFC analysis at ALS since development of capability commenced in 2008. He has assisted with technical development of NEPM TRH method guidance. Marc has presented at a conference (Cleanup 2015) titled “Challenges in the measurement of PFOS in environmental samples: are the numbers meaningful to environmental toxicologists and regulators”. In the past he has also authored: “Simultaneous Accumulation and Derivatization of Volatiles Using the Dynamic Solvent Effect” and “Trace analysis of complex organic mixtures using capillary gas-liquid chromatography and the dynamic solvent effect”. Sample introduction in capillary GC has been an abiding interest for Marc. He is a masterclass presenter/NATA technical assessor and Standards Australia Technical Committee Member.

Damien Gardiner – Clayton Utz

Partner in the national Environment and Planning group at Clayton Utz, over 16 years' experience advising on major projects, contamination and broader environmental issues. Acts for both public and private sector clients.

Lee Gedge – GHD

Lee has more than 20 years’ experience as an environmental scientist and hydrogeologist. He has carried out numerous large-scale environmental assessment and remediation projects throughout Australia involving a range of contamination issues and exposure settings. Having worked extensively with Department of Defence, Airservices Australia and a range of emergency services clients, most of the projects Lee has been involved with over the past ten years have been in relation to investigation and management of PFAS contamination. He has recently been the project director and technical lead for a number of significant investigation programs to delineate PFAS contamination at a host of major facilities across Australia, and has produced policy and guidelines on strategies for management of PFAS impacts that have been adopted by the aviation industry nationally.

Ben Keet – Geo & Hydro - K8 Ltd

Ben’s background ranges from medical physics and isotope hydro-chemistry to oil exploration and production.  In 1988 Ben started the first NZ company specialised in soil and groundwater remediation.  This was expanded to 4 states in Australia from 1990 and in 1994 he also started a bioremediation Research & Development company in Holland. He has worked on over 5000 projects in 10 different countries and is still very active in R&D projects focussing on chemicals in our environment. In 2016 he completed an MBA thesis on the economic impact of lead in our environment. He holds several patents in environmental technology.

Victoria Lazenby – Arcadis

Victoria Lazenby is a Principal Risk Assessor with Arcadis Australia Pacific with 15 years experience in the fields of environmental science, public health, and risk assessment.  Victoria has worked in consulting, government, and research based roles, and is a sessional lecturer at LaTrobe University (M.Sc., Public Health).  Victoria has undertaken numerous projects working with EmCoC, which has included review and research using primary literature for novel, unusual, or emerging compounds, to enable the derivation of screening criteria or completion of quantitative ecological or human health risk assessment. 

Cheryl Lim – National Measurement Institute

Cheryl has led CRC CARE’s Better Measurement Program since its inception in 2011; this program includes a portfolio of research activities across Australia on a wide range of environmental measurement issues, in particular the development of new measurement techniques for emerging contaminants of concern and field/remote monitoring. Cheryl’s experience in measurement-related research includes a PhD in nuclear physics, several patents related to the development of online analysis techniques for the minerals industry, and various missions as a Technical Expert for the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Annette Nolan – Ventia

Annette is a Principal Environmental Scientist at Ventia Environmental Services and is a member of the ALGA Board of Directors. Annette has a PhD in chemistry and over 20 years’ experience in applied, analytical and environmental chemistry (organic and inorganic) across a range of industries and research organisations. Annette has extensive expertise in hazardous waste treatment and contaminated site remediation, including treatment of soils, wastes and waters impacted with PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances).

Lean Phuah – Tonkin + Taylor NZ

Lean is a Principal Environmental Engineer with a background in civil engineering. She has over 25 years consulting experience in New Zealand and Asia. Lean has been involved in numerous investigations, assessments and management of sites contaminated with a wide range of contaminants. Lean has a strong interest in emerging contaminants with a keen desire to build knowledge and contribute to ALGA’s mission.

Bob Symons – Eurofins | mgt

Bob Symons is the National Technical Manager for Eurofins | mgt based in their Sydney laboratory.  Bob has a PhD in analytical chemistry from La Trobe University and has been working in the area of environmental organic chemistry for over 35 years employed by Australian, State and New Zealand government laboratories as well as multi-national industrial companies.  Bob’s interests over the past 20 years have been the analysis of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as dioxins, PCBs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) & other brominated flame retardants, per and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) and more recently pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) using mass spectrometric techniques such as LC-MS/MS, LC-QToF-MS, GC-MS/MS and GC-HRMS.  Other emerging contaminants of significance include 1,4-dioxane in water and new generation fumigants in air samples.

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