The 7th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference – CleanUp 2017


The CleanUp conference series was initiated in 1996 under the banner of Soil Contamination Research Australasia Pacific (or ‘SCRAP’). Today, CleanUp is a global event, with recent conferences held in China, India and Indonesia. In 2018, a CleanUp event is planned for Korea and the inaugural World CleanUp Congress is set to take place in India.

The flagship International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference, held every two years in Australia, attracts around 700 leading environmental scientists, regulators and practitioners from around the world (more than 20 countries were represented in 2015). CleanUp 2017 – the seventh in the series – will take place from 10 to 14 September this year in Melbourne.

CleanUp 2015, Melbourne, Victoria. Credit: Susan Gordon-Brown

The event is hosted by the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE), an organisation established under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Programme in 2005. The CRC Programme links researchers with industry to focus on research and development towards use and commercialisation. CRC CARE was funded to address the growing challenges of toxic contamination of land, water and air, and the impact this has on our health, environment and food supply. Based at the University of Newcastle, Australia, the CRC has 29 partners spanning research organisations, private industry (both contaminated site owners and environmental consultancies), and government (including several state environment protection authorities).

Under CRC CARE’s guidance, CleanUp aims to be much more than a scientific conference. As per the CRC’s remit, it brings together industry, government and research with a focus on real-world solutions – underpinned by the latest science – to contamination problems.

In 2017, CleanUp will incorporate the first International PFAS Conference. Per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are contaminants of emerging concern, some of which – particularly perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) – have received prominent recent news coverage in Australia and the United States. These chemicals, found in some aqueous film-forming foams (AFFFs) used to fight fires, have gained recent global attention as contamination has been detected in areas in and around numerous fire-training facilities worldwide, including at military bases and commercial airports. In some cases, contamination has occurred in adjacent residential areas, causing substantial community concern.

CleanUp 2015, Melbourne, Victoria. Credit: Susan Gordon-Brown

Human exposure to PFAS is almost ubiquitous, as they are also found in nonstick cookware, waterproof and fire-resistant fabric, and food packaging. These chemicals persist in the environment and bioaccumulate. With growing evidence that long-term exposure is linked to a range of health effects, state and national regulators in multiple countries are grappling with the development of legislation and guidance aimed at safeguarding communities.

The PFAS Conference will explore problems, issues, environmental behaviour, policy challenges and management of this important class of emerging contaminants. The draft program includes:

  • Local/international policy and guidance on PFAS (terrestrial and aquatic)
  • Fate of PFAS including toxicological studies
  • Case studies: field-based observations of PFAS in soil:water:plant systems
  • Management and remediation of PFAS
CleanUp 2015, Melbourne, Victoria. Credit: Susan Gordon-Brown

CleanUp 2017 also offers opportunities for organisations to showcase their work via two awards: the CARE Award for technologies and innovations in the area of contamination assessment and remediation of the environment; and the Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science. In an effort to promote the importance of contamination issues to younger generations – the people who will have to deal with future problems – CleanUp 2017 will launch the CRC CARE High School Essay Competition, offering cash prizes in two categories and a trip to Melbourne for the conference for the two winners.

A major component of the conference is the keynote plenary lecture that recognises the late Dr Brian Robinson, former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Victoria chief executive officer and chairman, who is seen by many as the father of environmental protection in Australia. Recent speakers include Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, then Singapore Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (CleanUp 2013) and Ms Cheryl Batagol, Chair of EPA Victoria (CleanUp 2015).

To find out more about or to register for CleanUp 2017, visit

CleanUp 2017 themes

  • Advanced methods for site characterisation
  • Advances in ecological and human health risk assessment
  • Analytical aspects of assessment and remediation of contaminants
  • Approaches to prevention of contamination
  • Asbestos in soil (ASBINS)
  • Assessment, remediation and management of volatiles
  • Biochar and biochar-assisted remediation
  • Bio-solids and their application in remediation
  • Chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminated site assessment, remediation and management
  • Fractured rocks
  • Climate change and environmental remediation
  • Contamination from chemical weapons and unexploded ordinances
  • Dealing with mixed contamination
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Advances in environmental forensics
  • Green and sustainable remediation
  • Heavy metal contaminated sites (with a special focus on lead)
  • Innovative in situ and ex situ remediation technologies
  • Case studies including bottlenecks for remediation
  • Per- and Poly-fluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) assessment, remediation and management
  • Petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated site assessment, remediation and management
  • Regulatory constraints for emerging contaminants
  • Regulatory, legal, corporate and social issues
  • Sediments remediation
  • Coal fired power stations: managing emissions and wastes
  • Mine voids

Twitter: #CleanUp2017,  @crcCARE