Contaminated land report issued by Natural Resources Wales

19Apr / 2016

Contaminated land report issued by Natural Resources Wales

New environmental body, Natural Resources Wales, has produced the first ‘Wales only’ report on progress under the Part 2A contaminated land regime.

Since the introduction of Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in July 2001, relevant agencies have been required by law to produce a report on progress made in identifying and remediating contaminated land.

This new report gives an overview of contaminated land activity in Wales dating from July 2001 to December 2013. Compiling data collected from 19 of 22 local authorities, the key findings are as follows:

• Land contamination in Wales is mainly dealt with through the planning process (93% of the sites). Around 3% of contaminated sites are dealt with under Part 2A and a similar amount under voluntary action.
• All local authorities have produced and published their inspection strategy for contaminated land. Eleven local authorities published the most recent version of their strategy pre-2007 and eight published their strategy post 2007.
• The majority of the local authorities (58%) have not changed their priorities within their inspection strategy since it was first drafted. For those that changed their priorities, the main reason provided was the move towards a greater emphasis via the planning process.
• Eighteen local authorities (95%) have established a record of potentially contaminated sites
• By end of December 2013, almost half of the local authorities (47%) reported that they are behind target towards achieving the objectives of their inspection strategy.
• In total 10,130 potentially contaminated sites have been brought to the attention of the nineteen local authorities who responded.
• Between 1st July 2001 and 31st December 2013, 800 potentially contaminated sites have had a detailed inspection under the Part 2A regime. This represents 8% of the 10,130 potentially contaminated sites brought to the attention of local authorities and indicates that 9,330 sites are yet to undergo detailed inspection. The detailed inspections to date have been funded by central funding (90%) and local authority funding (10%) at a total cost of £3.87 million.
• No new determinations have been reported from December 2011 to the end of the survey period (31st December 2013).
• By the end of December 2013, 175 sites had been determined under Part 2A, including two designated special sites. Of the 175 contaminated land sites, 64 determinations were revoked in 2009. Local authorities reported that 97 sites out of 111 sites have been completely remediated.
• 95 sites have been fully remediated by the local authorities and the estimated cost is in the region of £3.7 million. Two further special sites have been fully remediated at a cost of around £1.2 million.
• Site remediation has been mainly paid for by the Welsh Government’s Contaminated Land Capital Fund Scheme (71%) prior to its withdrawal in 2010/11 and also via Class A appropriate persons (22%).
• Site remediation has been mainly through excavation and off-site disposal of material and in-situ chemical treatment

Find out more about GGS’s service for former landfill sites here.

Read the full report from Natural Resources Wales here.