Land contamination updated guidance
In June 2019 the Environment Agency published an update to its Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination known as CLR11. The existing CLR 11 is scheduled for withdrawal this year. The updated guidance and an introduction to it can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/land-contamination-how-to-manage-the-risks
The Environment Agency requires the guidance to be followed in a number of regulatory and management contexts, such as voluntary remediation, planning, assessing liabilities or under the Part 2A contaminated land regime under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
The stated aim of the guidance is to assist in assessing the risks, making appropriate decisions and taking action where necessary. These aims are reflected in the three stages of the risk management process prescribed under the guidance namely:
- Risk assessment
- Options appraisal
- Remediation strategy.
The practicalities of the remediation strategy are also dealt with in detail, including a reminder to consider health & safety and the potential application of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015. The remediation strategy must set out the critical performance criteria for achieving the remediation objectives identified at the options appraisal stage. Whether those objectives have been achieved has to be verified with supporting data. The guidance sets out what this data should look like:
- The volumes and characteristics of pollutants treated
- Rate of reduction or removal of such pollutants
- Volumes, source and quality of any imported material
The other matters to be covered in a land contamination site report are set out in detail, with a reminder that such reports are the preserve of a suitably qualified professional.
The guidance is intended to be more user friendly than its predecessor, to comply with new rules on accessibility requiring guidance to be navigable, concise, clear and understandable.
The Environment Agency has for the last six months been seeking feedback on these changes, so it is worth keeping an eye on the land contamination risk management pages on YouGov and on claire.co.uk to see if such feedback is published and leads to any further changes. If you need advice on managing contaminated land or other environmental compliance matters, we are happy to hold an initial discussion to establish if your issue is legal and how we can help - or if we need to put you in touch with a suitable environmental consultant.