Why are we called Canopy Enterprises?

Canopy is a metaphor, for an overarching need within the contaminated land assessment and remedial industry where Clients are provided with smarter options recognising the multidisciplinary aspects of client projects. Almost all the professional, civil and bureaucratic tasks associated with projects tend to cross over, to varying degrees, within the process of environmental assessment. As such, Canopy assesses the overall requirement rather than issuing generic reports that may not consider all of the contaminated land requirements for a project.

​Established in 2000, Canopy Enterprises is a specialised Environmental Project Management Company providing services not typically available within the environmental industry.

With a thorough and multidisciplinary understanding of Government processes across disciplines of Environmental Science, Engineering, Law, Planning, Feasibility Studies and Stakeholder Management, Canopy ensures that the project's underlining objectives are achieved.

The differential Canopy offers is that it manages the environmental component/s within full view of the broader project and addresses with foresight complexities or difficulties that invariably arise from the crossovers with other project disciplines on a major project. Because Canopy is independent of the conventional environmental assessment companies it can offer the best and most cost-effective strategies that reduce the Client's expenditure and project timeframes without compromising project objectives.​

Canopy prides itself on a long history of building assessments and project strategies around the Client’s broader interests, rather than merely satisfying environmental compliance issues in the short term. By working collaboratively with the Client, Canopy excels in developing a strategic approach which adds value to the project and is in our Client’s best interests in the longer term.

CEnvP & CEnvP-SC Accredited





‘We believe our clients should expect to be provided with considered environmental strategies without having to ask’

Preliminary Site Investigations (PSI)

A Preliminary Site Investigation, or PSI, is performed by our suitably qualified environmental scientist/engineer and a report is generated to assess whether contamination has the potential to exist on the project site. Key to this process is an appraisal of the site history which enables assessing the likelihood of site contamination. Overall, it assists in determining whether a further, more detailed investigation is needed.

Councils generally require a PSI, sometimes referred to by Council as a 'Stage 1 Contamination Report" or a 'Preliminary Environmental Site Investigation' to be conducted by a suitably qualified person to be completed as part of a Development Application to establish whether there is any evidence or indication of past land use that would give rise to concern for the presence of contamination. It could also be a useful mechanism for due diligence prior to acquiring or divesting land/property.

Another important role of the PSI is to inform sampling requirements for any further investigation, should Areas of Environmental Concern be identified.

Canopy offers this service as a basic Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) or a Preliminary Site Investigation with Supplementary Sampling (PSI-SS). We always consider which approach is in the best interests for the Client and often combine the PSI and DSI.

Detailed Site Investigations (DSI)

As the name suggests, the Detailed Site Investigation, or DSI, is to provide more complete and definitive information on issues raised in the Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI). Councils often request a DSI, sometimes referred to by Council as a 'Stage 2 Contamination Report to be conducted by a suitably qualified person' to be completed as part of more complex Development Applications.

The DSI informs whether site contamination has the potential to pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment and whether further assessments or a remedial action plan are required.

The DSI provides information on the type, extent and level of contamination of the site, as well as an assessment of:
- Primary sources of contamination
- Contaminant dispersal
- Nature of contamination
- Potential effects of contaminants on human health or the environment
- Migration routes
- Adequacy and completeness of available information
- Conceptual site models from previous investigations

Canopy upholds the highest quality and follows a strict set of requirements.

Remedial Action Plans (RAP)

Remedial Action Plans (RAP) typically follow on from the completion of a Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) and possibly further delineation work. The RAP sets remediation objectives and documents the process(es) necessary to remediate the site.

These objectives differ across sites and industries and Canopy takes an independent and individual approach to each project. As such, the plans primarily involve:

- Summaries of previous investigations and identified contamination risks
- Remediation objectives that ensure the remediated site will be suitable for its current and/or proposed use with no unacceptable risk to human health or the environment
- Defining the extent of remediation required across the site
- Options and remedial technologies to achieve remediation
- Environmental safeguards
- Addressing the contingencies and unexpected finds

Validation Reports (VR)

Following remediation, the Validation Report (VR) details the site work undertaken, statistically demonstrates compliance with the remedial action plan, criteria and compliance with contaminated land guidelines and other applicable regulatory requirements.

Soil Vapour Surveys

Soil vapour surveys may be used to screen sites for volatile or semi-volatile organic compounds (VOC andSVOC) in soils above the groundwater level. Soil vapour sampling can be used as a screening procedure to assist in locating soil sampling and monitoring well locations.

There are two basic types of soil vapour surveys. Active surveys pump a volume of soil vapour is pumped out of the vadose zone (the zone above the groundwater table) into a sample container or directly into an analyser.

A passive soil vapour survey uses probes consisting of a sorbent material that gets buried in the vadose zone and the contaminant vapours are then absorbed over time into the sorbent material that then gets analysed in the laboratory providing an indication for the presence of volatiles in the sub-surface. Canopy has experience in a variety of soil vapour surveys and can assist you in designing an assessmentthat is appropriate for your needs.

Asbestos in Soil Assessments

Canopy can provide specialist advice regarding asbestos in soils (ASBINS) and design not only appropriate assessment programs, we can supervise Class A and Class B Asbestos Removal Work and we can issue Asbestos Clearance Certificates for any non-licensed and Class B licensed asbestos removal work. We have highly trained experts available who, in addition to the basic Asbestos Awareness Course, have completed the following courses:

CPCCDE3014A - Remove non-friable asbestos
CPCCDE3015A - Remove Friable Asbestos
CPCCBC4051A - Supervise asbestos removal

Acid Sulfate Soils Assessments

Acid Sulfate Soils refer to sediments and soils containing iron sulfides which, when exposed to oxygen or disturbed by drainage or excavation, generates sulfuric acid. ‘Acid sulfate soils’ include actual or potential acid sulfate soils. More specifically, ‘Actual Acid Sulfate Soils’ are the soils containing highly acidic soil layers resulting from the aeration and oxidation of Acid Sulfate Soil materials. ‘Potential acid sulfate soils’ are those containing iron sulfides or sulfidic material that has not been exposed to air but has the potential to oxidise and form sulfuric acid in the process.​

Assessing sites for the presence of AS Soils involves desktop assessments via Acid Sulfate Soil Planning Maps, Geological Maps and various databases, often followed by a site inspection and the analysis of samples in the field a field and laboratory.

We are highly experienced in matters surrounding Acid Sulfate Soils. Canopy delegates have presented at the 9th International Acid Sulfate Soils Conference in Adelaide. We are also proud to be part of a select group of experts who form the 2021–2023 Soil Management Guidelines Industry Reference Group to advise the Queensland Government regarding the content of Version 5 of the Queensland Acid Sulfate Soil Technical Manual - Soil Management Guidelines.

Acid Sulfate Soils Management Plans

In circumstances where the Action Criteria set in Acid Sulfate Soils Assessment Guidelines (ASMAC 1998) or the National Acid Sulfate Soils Guidance (Sullivan et al 2018) are exceeded and the acidity has been shown to be mostly the result of Reduced Inorganic Sulfur, an Acid Sulfate Soils Management Plan (ASSMP) must be prepared and implemented.

The ASSMP provides a framework for the ongoing management and monitoring of the impacts throughout the construction and operation phases of any project. Also, it should outline the mitigation measures necessary to protect the soils, surface and groundwater, ecology and the community.

Site Contamination Specialist Reviews

Many Councils across Sydney require Environmental Assessment Reports to be signed by a Certified Site Contamination Specialist. The number of such certified specialists is still very limited. Canopy has appropriately certified staff and can review environmental reports and provide Site Contamination Specialist sign off for appropriately produced reports.

Virgin Excavated Natural Material (VENM) Certificates

VENM stands for ‘Virgin Excavated Natural Material’ which is defined in the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 as:

“natural material (such as clay, gravel, sand, soil or rock fines):

(a) that has been excavated or quarried from areas that are not contaminated with manufactured chemicals, or with process residues, as a result of industrial, commercial, mining or agricultural activities, and

(b) that does not contain any sulfidic ores or soils or any other wasteand includes excavated natural material that meets such criteria for virgin excavated natural material as may be approved for the time being pursuant to an EPA Gazettal notice.”

Like waste classifications, VENM must be classified and accompanied by a VENM certificate prior to Council accepting the material. Canopy offers services to classify and certify material as VENM should it satisfy these and other requirements.

Waste Classifications (WC)

Any material leaving a site, including excavated soils regardless of their contamination levels, is considered to be waste. Any waste must be classified before it is transported off-site and it must be disposed of at a facility that is allowed to accept that type of material.

It is a wide-spread rumour that as long as you have permission from the landowner, it is legal to dispose of soil on the landowner's property. Be aware, disposing of soils on a property that is not appropriately licensed or has otherwise permission to accept soils (for example through a DA or similar instrument), is a breach of the PoEO Act and heavy fines apply to all involved parties, the waste generator, the transporter and the owner of the receiving property.

Canopy can advise you and prepares Waste Classification Reports to confirm the classification of waste in line with the Waste Classification Guidelines (EPA 2014)

Other Services

Outside of the listed Assessments, Canopy can provide appropriate level assessments such as:

- Assessments relating to Council requirements in Contaminated Land for DA Applications
- Assisting with appropriate reports in response to DA Conditions of Consent
- Assisting with appropriate reports in response to the Land and Environment Court of NSW S34 conditions.
- Pre-purchase and Due Diligence Contaminated Land Assessments
- Environmental Management Plans (EMP)
- Preliminary Environmental Reviews (PER)
- Preliminary Environmental Review with Supplementary Sampling (PER-SS)
- Imported Fill Assessments


Meet our team

Canopy Enterprises prides itself on the knowledge and experience we bring to our field.  Meet our management team.
Fenn Hinchcliffe
The company is primarily based around Director Fenn Hinchcliffe, a Certified Environmental Practitioner who has over 25 years of environmental management experience including establishing and managing contaminated land for one of the largest property portfolios in Australia for the former State Rail Authority of NSW.

Fenn has a Master’s Degree in the Built Environment and has strong paralegal background and experience in contaminated land management.

Fenn puts the Client's interests first and continues to be the Principal Manager throughout many of the projects, which adds considerable value to the project. Fenn will first consider strategically the Client's environmental project requirements within a 'whole of project' context prior to formulating and recommending the smartest approach to handling the environmental component/s and how they relate to the broader project.
Dr Gunnar Haid
Principal Environmental Engineer
Dr. Gunnar Haid is the Principal Environmental Engineer at Canopy. Gunnar's work in environmental engineering goes back as far as 1993 and includes projects such as the multi-million-dollar pre-Sydney Olympics Regional Assessment Program by the then State Rail Authority and literally hundreds of site assessments and remediations.  He has gained a tremendous amount of general, management and business experience during times when he ventured into other areas of expertise away from engineering.

Among various certifications and training, Gunnar has a Masters degree and PhD in Petroleum Engineering from the renowned Mining University Leoben in Austria with a brief stint at West Virginia University in the USA. He has acted as an expert witness in the NSW Land and Environment Court on four occasions and he prides himself on his excellent communication skills. He has used these skills to guide clients through the technical and regulatory regime in the most timely and cost-efficient manner without compromising scientific rigour and ethical standards.

Gunnar provides an invaluable role to Canopy Enterprises in bridging gaps between parties with vastly different expertise and backgrounds and to break down complex concepts into easy to comprehend portions.
Gillian Coleman
Senior Administration
Gillian joined the Canopy team in early 2021 and brings with her a wealth of skills and knowledge gained from a background of over 20 years’ experience in administrative, logistical, payroll and finance fields in her previous roles within the mining, I.T., agricultural and food services sectors.​

Gillian’s role at Canopy incorporates all her skills to deliver high level administrative support and project coordination to the team as well as provide assistance to our clients.

Contact us

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