Do You Own Contaminated Land? A Quick Guide to Help You Understand the UK Regulatory Maze

In case you are about to buy, sell, or re-finance a property, or if you are applying for planning agreement, you will need to know if your land is contaminated. The first stage in the act is making a site search. contaminated land consultants

The site search must be completed during the due homework process, which is usually undertaken by an attorney or conveyancer, who will check the details against a database. The search will list all documented uses of the site and neighbouring areas (usually within 250 m of the property).

Approximately five per cent of all UK site searches reveal that the property is on or near land once used for professional activities. If the site is on or near an old professional site, you will desire a contaminated land assessment. 

The phased approach to associated risk management used in the united kingdom makes this an intricate process. To help you through the maze of regulation below is a simplified two-step process to understanding parts of the legislation adjoining contaminated land.

The first step: Check with the Local Authority and Environment Agency.

As the lawful regulators of contaminated land issues, the Local Specialist and Environmental Agency’s thoughts about the site are the most important. They could determine if the property is acceptable or if further assessment is required. If the Local Power has no concerns over contamination on your land, then you need not take any further action.

If there are concerns with the site the Local Authority will be able to guide you on how to proceed next. In the event the land is polluted to the extent that it could be affecting groundwater or surface water, the surroundings Company must be contacted as they regulate this particular environment and they will also provide guidance.

Step 2: Risk Assessment

In the event the government bodies cannot discount the toxins issues the next step is to conduct a risk assessment as required under environmentally friendly Security Act 1990. This activity must be completed by using a qualified contaminated land specialist or practitioner. The risk assessment process is divided into three phases.

In Phase 1 your expert will interpret the information obtained from the site searches and other widely available information such as geological and hydrological maps. They will conduct a site walkover to get an on-the-ground understanding of the region. From this information they will produce a conceptual site model (CSM) and complete a qualitative risk examination (QRA) in accordance with UK guidance. If the QRA demonstrates low dangers then no actions are required. If the QRA indicates medium or high risks then a Period 2 contamination assessment is required.

The Phase 2 assessment involves physical sample of the soil to confirm the level of contaminants. These results are compared against UK ground and groundwater thresholds (Generic Assessment Criteria or GAC) to determine if the land is contaminated and the extent that it poses a risk. In the event the site is infected, remediation will be required. This is certainly Phase 3.

The consultant will agree a Phase 3 remediation system with the Local Power and can oversee and report on the improvement of the scheme. That they can also manage the whole process on your behalf.