Contaminated Land – Contaminated Land Strategy
Contaminated Land Strategy
Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 introduced a new statutory regime for the identification and control of contaminated land. It came into force in Wales on the 31st July 2001 and is designed to provide a new regulatory framework for the identification and remediation of contaminated land. Under the legislation the council is required to inspect the land in the county borough to identify sites which, due to their historical use, may have given rise to land contamination which could cause harm to human health or the environment.
There is a legal definition of contaminated land, and local authorities must follow the legal rules in checking whether the land is causing a problem.
Contaminated land is defined as:
“Any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land, that:
- significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or
- pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be caused; …”
This means that contamination must be having, or be very likely to have, a detrimental impact on human health or the environment before a site can be determined as contaminated. It is important to realise that a site will not meet the definition of contaminated land just because contaminants are present.
The Public Protection Department’s Pollution Control Team carries out the Council’s duties under Welsh Assembly Government Part 2A Statutory Guidance on Contaminated Land (2006) and produced the Council’s Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy in April 2002. The strategy is under review and will be updated later this year.
A reference document for developers and their advisers involved in the assessment and management of contamination entitled 'Land Contamination: A Guide for Developers' has been produced as a result of work jointly carried out by the Welsh Local Government Association, Welsh Government and Environment Agency. The guide details the type of information required by the Council in order for it to assess an application for planning permission on brownfield land, in particular, where contamination may be present.
For advice please contact Public Protection.