The Council is required to inspect the area within its boundaries for the purpose of identifying land where contamination is causing unacceptable risks to human health or to the wider environment.
Most land contamination problems are dealt with through development and planning controls and this process will continue. The legislation provides a means to require the remediation of land where this is not taking place voluntarily.
Local authorities are the primary enforcers of this new regime and the Council has prepared an Inspection Strategy for the identification of contaminated land within its District. For a copy of the latest strategy click on the following link Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy
The strategy explains how the Council prioritises its inspection procedures whilst developing and maintaining an overall approach that is rational, ordered and efficient.
The main objectives of the strategy are:
- to comply with the legal requirements placed on the Council by the introduction of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 Part IIA
- to compile a Register of all the land in the District that falls within the description of "contaminated land" as defined in EPA 1990 Part IIA
- to ensure that land identified as contaminated land is remediated and keep records of the remediation in the Contaminated Land Register
- to encourage owners of contaminated land that is due to be redeveloped to carry out voluntary remediation through the planning process
- to encourage the re-use of brownfield sites in order to maximise the use of previously developed land, to reduce the pressure on greenfield sites and to preserve the Green Belt in general.
The most serious problems will be addressed first, concentrating resources on areas where contaminated land is most likely to be found.
The risk assessment will assign priorities in order to:
- protect human health
- protect controlled waters that are used for the supply of drinking water
- protect designated ecosystems
- protect property
- protect land from any further contamination
- inspect land owned by the Council
- inspect land scheduled for redevelopment
- encourage voluntary remediation
- encourage the re-use of brownfield sites