Remediation of contaminated land - Different levels of remediation

Before remediation of contaminated land is required certain criteria have to be met:-

  • a contaminant has been identified
  • a receptor has been identified (human, ecosystem or property)
  • a pathway from the contaminant to the receptor has been identified
  • and where there is a significant possibility of harm to the receptor

For example, research suggests that previous land use may have resulted in contamination underneath what is now an industrial site, but the site is covered in concrete as there are buildings on it now. Unless the concrete is going to be broken up and the contaminants exposed, there is no pathway linking the contaminant to a receptor, and so no action is required. However, if the site was going to be demolished and redeveloped into a residential area, it would then be necessary to ensure that the site was remediated to a standard suitable for residential use.

Why are there different levels of Remediation?

Remediation is carried out to make the land suitable for use. The level of remediation required is subject to the end use of the land. For example, land that is going to be used for a residential development which contains houses with gardens (where people have the potential to grow and eat their own vegetables) has to be remediated to a greater extent than if the land were to be used solely for an industrial development.



Last Updated on Wednesday, May 4, 2022