Why getting an environmental assessment matters

Posted on: 25 October 2017


Are you considering developing a brown field site? Whether you want to build property or use the land in some other way one of the issues that you need to be aware of is contamination. Land contamination can be caused by a range of substances. It might be heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, or arsenic or solvents or other chemical substances. Contamination can also arise from asbestos, gases or even radioactive substances; it is not always apparent by a visual inspection.

What is land contamination?

If you are not sure whether or not your land is contaminated it is always worth calling in a professional to undertake a full survey of the land. Land contamination is defined as where the substances could pose a risk of significant harm to people or property, or where there is significant pollution of surface waters. Often land contamination can result from prior use of the land so it is always helpful to know how your land has been used in the past. If you discover that you own the site of a former factory, refinery, mine or even a landfill site, there is a good chance that you may have to face contamination issues before you can commence new building work.

How can you deal with contaminated land?

If you suspect you have a problem with land contamination then you need to find a professional who produces environmental assessments and get them to assess your land. Don't make the mistake of assuming that this assessment is something you can do yourself. To undertake an environmental assessment you need to have an understanding of toxicology, soil mechanics and hydrogeology. The person conducting the survey will need to co-ordinate with the local authorities on the ground to agree not just on how the investigation will be undertaken, but what the most appropriate method of remediation may be before the discharge of any planning condition which have been attached to the land.

What happens if you don't get a proper environmental survey?

If you don't deal with any land contamination issues before starting building work on your land you are simply creating bigger problems later on once the authorities become aware of the situation. Applying the right remediation measures before starting to build is the only way to make sure that you can use your land in the way you wish without fear of legal intervention. Get your environmental assessment done now and avoid complicated and expensive problems in the future.