Contaminated land Consultants
Contaminated land consultants manage compliance and audit matters where audits are called for if a real estate is being rezoned to a much more “sensitive” land use, as an example, from business to residential, or if an application has been made to take off land from the Contaminated Sites Register and their services are quite often utilized by residential property developers when purchasing (or selling) land appropriate for business or residential development.
The initial service a contaminated land conusltancy will provide is to determine the likelihood of site contamination which is described as a Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI), or a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment report. The PSI ought to be sufficient to identify potential types/sources of contamination, locations of prospective contamination, human and ecological receptors and possibly affected media (dirt, groundwater, etc).
A complete Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) will certainly include the following:
identification and description of the site,
the site record (zoning, occupants, historic usages, aerial images, ownership, activities, consultations, etc);
the environmental setting (geology, hydrogeology, topography, etc);
a site reconnaissance visit to visually inspect the site (and surrounds) for contamination;
an initial theoretical site model; and
(optionally) minimal contaminant sampling and evaluation at areas of potential environmental issue.
A PSI might conclude that there is a significant potential for contamination (in which case further studies need to be conducted). Nevertheless, if an extensive preliminary investigation reveals a history of non-contaminating activities and there is no other proof or suggestion of contamination, more examination is not needed.
Nevertheless, if a Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) identifies a likelihood of contamination and the available information is insufficient to enable site management strategies to be created, a Detailed Site Investigation, or DSI, may have to be carried out.
The DSI is the site testing, or Phase 2 investigation stage. It sets out to mark the vertical and lateral degree of site contamination – usually with the site’s proposed land usage in mind; or to inform upon appropriate site remediation or management methods.
Soil is always examined and groundwater and/or surface water is tested where the past usage of the site signifies there is a possibility of contamination; the soil is contaminated with substances that can contaminate groundwater; or, if a surrounding site is known to be, or is possibly contaminated, and there is a threat of the contamination migrating to your site.
Where an appropriately planned and executed DSI demonstrates that the site is not contaminated, then no additional jobs are called for. If it demonstrates that the site is contaminated, further investigation to inform decontamination requirements or to make clear possible human health risks may be required.
Environmental auditing of a site can be a protracted exercise consisting of soil and groundwater evaluation, human health risk assessment, determination of “clean up to the extent feasible” of contaminated groundwater, and off-site testing.
A contaminated land audit might recognize environmental contamination issues that require rectification or management.
As mentioned, full and total clean up of contaminated land is not always needed. A contaminated land audit might be completed on a site which contains some ‘residual contamination’, and the auditor has issued a ‘Statement of Environmental Audit’.
Development on this land can then proceed, as long as the contamination is in keeping with acceptable land usage.
The Statement of Environmental Audit may have particular conditions, particularly if the site has been found to be a source site of contamination. Sites having a finalized Statement of Environmental Audit may necessitate:
Ongoing Groundwater Quality Management Plan of action;
Soil Contamination Management Strategy; or
Further soil/health-risk assessment requirements if disturbed
If you are a property owner or land developer, one of the most important thing to understand concerning contaminated land is that land owners can be held responsible for the remediation of contamination on their land.
Consequently, it’s important to look into a property’s contamination status before purchase, to avoid buying pricey environmental liabilities along with the land.