“The situation in the UK is very much in the air at the moment,” Dave Rudland, project manager at Halcrow the independent consultancy that will be publishing the guidelines, told edie. “The concept of assessing contaminated land regularly is fairly recent. People have looked overseas and have translated methods to the UK, but there is no coherence.”

The overall aim of the project is, according to Rudland, to “improve the standard of contaminated land risk assessment and to raise the industry to a common level”. Having worked without national guidelines, UK industry’s methods of assessing contaminated land are likely to vary widely.

Halcrow will survey current UK risk assessment methods and suggest best practice guidelines. Funded by DETR, the Construction Industry Research and Information Assessment (CIRIA) and others, the guidelines will be accompanied by training materials and implementation workshops.

Work on contaminated land risk assessment guidelines comes at a time when industry and regulatory authorities are unsure as to when implementation of Section 57 of the 1995 Environment Act will take place. Section 57 requires local authorities to locate and assess contaminated land. It is hoped that the Government will implement the act by the end of this year.

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