Industry Experts Call for Remediation Trade Association.

By Craig Sillars of Churngold Remediation
Brownfield site developers, local authorities and owners of contaminated land are currently facing three challenges which could affect the implementation of clean up programmes

Among many contractors, consultants and developers there is; a general lack of knowledge regarding available remediation technologies, the mis-selling of some remediation solutions and frequently an over cautious approach to remedial requirements and costs that result in developable sites being left on the shelf.

Both Mr Summersgill and myself agree that there is now an urgent need for a trade association that can provide independent advice and guidance. Remediation processes are becoming more and more sophisticated by the day. There are new technologies available that can, in the right circumstances, transform a development by providing previously unachievable levels of clean up and value for money. However, few developers or contractors are sufficiently well informed to question the suitability of a particular remediation strategy.

Although several organisations already exist as sources of information on landfill and brownfield development, few if any are prepared to offer advice. “What’s really needed is a credible body capable of providing a resource of information on the appropriate selection and implementation of remediation technologies,” explains Mr Summersgill. Ideally, a trade association with some form of membership audit would complement recognised standards such as ISO9001 or ISO14001. It would also act as a provider of information on remediation technologies and strategies; thereby enabling developers and consultants to make a more informed decision regarding the advice they are given by their remediation supplier.

The concept of a remediation trade association has already been tested in mainland Europe, particularly in Belgium, France and Spain. With cutting edge technologies such as steam injection now being applied in the UK by companies such as Churngold Remediation, the gap between the specialist contractor and those whose remediation turnover has been reliant on, and whose expertise is limited to, dig and dump is widening rapidly. A well organised trade association would benefit users and suppliers alike. In fact it would be good news for everyone except the cowboy contractors.

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