EA spells out changes in contam land rules

Changes in regulations covering the disposal of contaminated soil have been mapped out by the Environment Agency for those working in the land remediation sector.

The agency has published a fact sheet outlining imminent changes to the legal responsibilities of companies involved in the clean-up of brownfield sites.

Liz Parkes, head of waste at the Environment Agency, said: “Currently contaminated soils that are hazardous need to be treated before sent to landfill.

“However from October 30, 2007, new rules mean all contaminated soils, whether hazardous or non-hazardous, must be treated before they are landfilled.

“For businesses who produce or manage contaminated soils this means you will have to review how you manage your waste.

“If your waste does go to landfill, check to see if it is already being treated. If it isn’t you will need to treat it or ensure that your waste management company does this for you.”

Contaminated soils are legally considered hazardous or non-hazardous, depending on the type and level of contamination.

Pre-treatment rules already apply hazardous contaminated soils so many landfill operators and land remediation companies are aware of the rules.

However, to help explain what needs to be done, the Environment Agency has been working with members of the waste industry to produce a fact sheet, detailing the changes.

“There are many easy ways for these businesses to treat waste and deliver real environmental improvements,” said Ms Parkes.

“Much of the waste we send to landfill is already treated, however for some wastes more effort is needed. Treatment can simply be separating the waste on site, and recycling one or more of the separated components.”

These changes are the part of the Landfill Directive, which will require all waste to be treated before it is disposed of at a landfill site from 30 October 2007. At the same time, liquid waste will be banned from any landfill.

The factsheet can be downloaded from the EA website.

David Gibbs

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