In the August 2012 edition of the environmental SCIENTIST Valerie Fogleman asked whether or not Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) - current contaminated land legislation - is fit for purpose. The IES set out to see how local authorities use the Act.
Part 2A of the EPA was introduced by the UK Government in 2000, it set out a regime to remediate significant contamination from past pollution incidents.
|No sites determined||1-5 sites determined||6-15 sites determined||16-35 sites determined||36-75 sites determined|
|76-155 sites determined||156-315 sites determined||316 + sites determined||Data not available|
This map shows the number of sites determined under Part 2A of the EPA since its inception in 2000 across the local authorities in Great Britain.
The first interesting thing to note is that the pattern of contaminated land determinations appears random, rather than being concentrated in areas that are historically industrial such as the local authorities bordering the Thames in East London, or cities such as Liverpool or Sheffield.
When the Local Authorities were asked to provide the information for this map, many said that, although few sites had been determined under Part 2A, there were hundreds if not thousands of ‘potentially contaminated’ sites that they were not investigating under the EPA. They preferred instead to work with developers to ensure that remediation took place using the planning regulations instead, in line with government policy.
|No sites determined||91-100% sites remediated||81-90% sites remediated||71-80% sites remediated||61-70% sites remediated|
|51-60% sites remediated||41-50% sites remediated||31-40% sites remediated||21-30% sites remediated|
|11-20% sites remediated||1-10% sites remediated||No sites remediated||Data not available|
The second map shows the proportion of sites that were determined under Part 2A that have been remediated to date. This gives an indication of how local authorities are able to act once a site has been determined under Part 2A. What this map does not reflect is the proportion of sites determined under Part 2A that were subsequently deemed ‘Special Sites’ and responsibility for remediation was then passed on to the Environment Agency. For many instances where a site was classified as a ‘Special Site’ no remediation has been undertaken. These maps are the first step in the IES investigating whether or not local authorities consider Part 2A ‘fit for purpose’. We will shortly be presenting views from some of the local authorities that we have contacted.
The data was requested under the Freedom of Information Act. The IES is grateful to all of the local authorities who provided data for this project.