Remediation of contaminated land - Responsibilities

Who is responsible for the cost of cleaning up the contaminated land?

The local authority will identify an appropriate person and they will be liable for part or all of the cost for remediating the land. There are two classes for appropriate person:-

  • Class A appropriate persons are those who cause or knowingly permit the pollutant(s) to be in, on or under the land
  • Class B appropriate persons are the owner(s) or occupier(s) of the land

Where no Class A appropriate person(s) can be identified, then the Class B appropriate person(s) may become liable. Several appropriate persons may be identified for one site. Detailed guidance on the allocation of such remediation liability, as well as when appropriate persons may be exempt or excluded from having to pay, is contained in the statutory guidance. Where an appropriate person can no longer be found (the person may have died, or their company has gone into liquidation), the enforcing authority may be required to take on the missing person's share of liability, and undertake the remedial works themselves. Any other appropriate persons for that piece of contaminated land will still be required to pay their share of the remediation costs.



Last Updated on Wednesday, May 4, 2022