Land that is contaminated has on it substances that are either really hazardous to human health or the environment, or that have the potential to be so. An evaluation of polluted land is carried out for the purpose of determining the likelihood of a contamination linkage and determining which steps, if any, are necessary to either manage or minimize the risk.
An assessment of contaminated land is necessary either as a component of a planning application or as a prerequisite for discharging planning conditions imposed by a local authority, the Environment Agency, or the National House Building Council.
Assessments of contaminated land are also used to investigate potential environmental liabilities or when a regulatory authority requires an assessment to investigate a potential or ongoing pollution issue. Another use for contaminated land assessment is to investigate potential environmental liabilities.
When determining whether or not there is a threat to sensitive receptors, regulatory agencies like the Environment Agency and the local planning authorities use a pollutant connection known as the “source-pathway-target” framework. If any of the following conditions are met:
- It has significant levels of a pollutant referred to as the ‘source’.
- The pollutant may have an effect on one or more people or things, which are referred to as the “target” or “receptor.”
- It is possible for a large amount of the pollutant to reach the receptor via the route (also known as the “pathway”).
In general, a technique that is phased is used when assessing contaminated land. The enquiry and cleanup procedure is often divided into four distinct phases or stages, which are as follows:
Stage-1: Desk study
It is necessary to do a preliminary risk assessment in order to acquire a complete comprehension of the history of the site, its setting, and the potential for it to be affected by pollution. Within the scope of the risk assessment are the following components: a desk study, site reconnaissance, and the creation of a conceptual site model.
Stage-2: Intrusive Investigation
If the desk research reveals that there is a possibility of contamination, then a more in-depth site investigation and risk assessment will be necessary. The objective of the study is to establish whether or not there are any dangers to individuals, to property, or to the environment that are deemed to be unacceptable.
In the event that the intrusive examination uncovers any hazards that are deemed unacceptable, corrective action will be necessary. The process of cleaning up a location and making it safe for human habitation is called “remediation.” The contaminated area could need to be excavated for remediation, or a clean cover might need to be installed.
The remediation approach statement will outline the steps that need to be taken in order to render the site acceptable for usage and will include specifics regarding the manner in which these activities will be carried out. Before any of the works are started, the recommendations for the remediation should be brought to the attention of the local planning authority so that they can be approved.
Verification follows cleanup. Verify the remediation’s success. The verification report will describe site cleanup operations and verify imported topsoil in soft landscaping.
The report will reference previous reports and summaries addressed risks. All cleanup information, management documents, and site variations will be documented. The report will include work details, approvals, waste transfer notes, certificates, and correspondence with local planners and regulators.
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