Contaminated Land Investigation & Remediation: Controlling Factors from the Client’s Perspective

Hesketh, D (2010) Contaminated Land Investigation & Remediation: Controlling Factors from the Client’s Perspective. [Dissertation]

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The purpose of this research is to study the views and opinions of land developers,
environmental consultants and local authorities with regard to present day
remediation. Questions were submitted to local authorities and environmental
consultants for comparison as to why contaminated land is treated and what are the
most sustainable ways to effectively remediate contaminated sites. From this
research, it was evident that the client (land developers) was influencing the advice
and decisions given by the environmental consultants due to various demands. Land
developers appear to be applying certain constraints to the advice given by
environmental consultants due to current shortage of timescales and available
budgets. This has subsequently led to the cheapest available remediation techniques
being advised by environmental consultants, which appear to be the least sustainable
available methods.
Excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated material is the favoured current
remediation option adopted by land developers. Local authorities are aware that this
method of remediation is not sustainable but due to the current recession within the
UK, they are therefore satisfied to accept this technique as long as the intended end
use for the site can be obtained. This paper also reviews legislation within the UK
associated with the contaminated land and remediation, the sources of land
contamination and the affects these may have on human health and the wider
environment. Remediation techniques are discussed within this paper, however this
information has been somewhat generalised due to other areas of research required.
Two case study sites have been included in the paper and analyses of the
contamination present within the sites have been undertaken. The particular emphasis
on this subject area was to investigate the previous site histories and compare and
contrast these uses with the present contamination. On review of this data one of
these sites had low contamination and very little previous site development. The
other site in comparison had elevated concentrations of heavy metals, PAH’s and
TPH’s and was previously used as an industrial site. Some links between the previous
site history and current contamination on these sites have been made and discussed
within this paper.

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