New contaminated land report issued by EA

06Apr / 2016

New contaminated land report issued by EA

The Environment Agency (EA) has released a new report on dealing with contaminated land.

 

‘Dealing with contaminated land’  is the result of a survey commissioned by Defra in 2014, which investigated the implementation of Part 2A of the 1990 Environment Protection Act. With a focus on identifying and remediating contaminated land sites, the report documents the progress made by 197 of 326 local councils (60%) in applying the regulations.

Contaminated land, when not successfully remediated during development, presents a risk to communities and the environment. The report, in combination with Part 2A legislation ,aims to create a culture of prevention and care that will protect future generations from inheriting a legacy of contamination.

Here are the key points of the report:

  • The main priority for local councils’ inspection strategies is to assess the risks posed to human health.
  • Since the Part 2A regime was introduced in April 2000, local councils have spent at least £32 million on inspecting more than 11 000 sites. This has led to the determination of more than 511 contaminated land sites where remediation was needed.
  • Although significant progress has been made, there are at least another 10 000 sites identified by preliminary inspection that need further investigation to establish the risks that they pose.
  • Of the 511 contaminated land sites reported to the survey, the majority were posing unacceptable risks to human health. Arsenic, lead and benzo(a)pyrene are the most common substances causing contamination.
  • Of the reported sites determined as contaminated land, remediation has been initiated on at least 493 sites, with work being reported as being complete at 433 of these sites.
  • A variety of remediation options have been used to clean up contaminated land, with the most common techniques reported being excavation and disposal or capping.
  • The majority of individual remedial actions were completed within a year although a significant number of the sites took more than a year to complete all the remedial actions.
  • More than £52 million has been granted for remediation by the regulators using public monies since the introduction of the regime in 2000. Most of this was spent on making land and water safe for people to use and on cleaning the environment for communities and to support growth.

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

Read the full report from the EA here.