Contaminated land investigation: interview with senior associate and practice leader Cameron Baldock

Cameron Baldock-TT

Cameron Baldock is a Senior Associate and Practice Leader of the Site Assessment and Remediation team in Western Australia and specialises in contaminated land investigation and remediation. He is committed to making a difference in preserving our natural environment and minimising human health risks posed by contaminated sites.

What inspired you to get into your field of study?

I have an interest in natural earth sciences and the evolution of the planet, which attracted me to study a Bachelor of Environmental Geoscience at Curtin University.

By studying geology and environmental science I gained an appreciation of the formation of the earth and the interaction between earth systems which ultimately creates the environment we live in. Preservation of the environment for the benefit of future generations is becoming increasingly important.

Tell us about the challenges and rewards you face in your role?

Contaminated land assessment and remediation is an ever evolving and changing industry and keeping up to date with the latest regulations, guidelines and technology can be a real challenge.

It’s rewarding to go home each day feeling like we’re working towards making a difference in preserving our natural environment and minimising human health risks posed by contaminated sites.

As a Site Assessment and Remediation (SAR) Practice Leader in Western Australia, I’m constantly challenged to find ways to improve our service offering and ensure we produce the highest quality deliverables and achieve the desired outcomes for our clients.

How long have you worked at Tetra Tech Coffey?

My initial three-year stint working for Tetra Tech Coffey was after graduating from university in 2004.  In 2016 I returned to Coffey after working for several consultancies and running my own business.

What attracted you to work with us?

Tetra Tech Coffey is a premier and highly specialised consulting business focused on providing unique solutions to complex environmental and geotechnical issues faced by our clients. Being part of a team that’s at the forefront of environmental management is important to me and with the broad capabilities of the global Tetra Tech family offers great career opportunities.

Tell us about some of the projects you’ve worked on at Tetra Tech Coffey that have been most inspirational to you.

We have undertaken numerous investigations for one of Western Australia’s largest iron ore producers across their Pilbara operations which spans mine sites, port and rail facilities. These projects have been extremely interesting and challenging and have given me the opportunity to be involved in strategic assessment of contamination and determination of human health and ecological risk.

One particularly inspiring project was undertaken at Golden Grove mine site in Western Australia. We undertook a detailed and site-specific ecological risk assessment for impacts to a receiving water body where mine dewatering effluent was discharged.

We established that prolonged discharge of treated dewatering effluent had created its own mini-ecosystem within the lake which had, over time, adapted to the changed water quality conditions. We assessed bioaccumulation through the food chain via food-web analysis and determined that risks from the discharge were acceptable in the context of the various receptors.

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