Defra has recently confirmed £0.4m contingency fund associated with the closure of the contaminated land capital grant programme, which is available for 2016/17. This will be the final capital grant allocation in line with the phase out period announced by Defra in 2013. This money will provide support to Environmental Protection Act Part 2A enforcing authorities dealing with nationally urgent cases where there is imminent danger of serious harm or serious pollution of controlled waters. Any remaining money will be used to support the highest priority ongoing remediation projects.
The Environment Agency will administer the contingency fund by issuing capital grants in accordance with the existing priority allocation approach. Full details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/contaminated-land-capital-projects-funding
The Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology is publishing a thematic set of papers on organic contaminants in groundwater. Contributions are expected to be published in the August 2017 issue.
Papers can be submitted on:
- Behaviour, fate and transport of organic compounds in groundwater,
- Risk assessment of organic contaminants in groundwater,
- Remediation and risk management of organic pollution,
- Emerging organic contaminants,
- Organic contaminant hydrogeology.
Call for papers as published: bit.ly/23JZ2pA
A new EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative training network on the theme of sustainable agriculture was launched in April [www.inspirationitn.eu]. The network is led by the Groundwater Protection and Restoration Group at the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with partners from 8 other European countries. It will provide advanced multidisciplinary training to 15 scientists and engineers over 4 years in research areas covering low-technology management practices, monitoring approaches, modelling and decision-making tools, and innovative technology applications in the field of sustainable agriculture. CL:AIRE will contribute as a partner, supporting the knowledge transfer and outreach activities delivered by the network. The network is recruiting researchers now. Click here to download a flyer explaining more, with details of the research opportunities available.
International SuRF Forums and associated partners recognise that their activities and engagement will be assisted by a declaration of their global alliance and of their goal to work cooperatively on joint initiatives. Therefore an alliance between the SuRFs called the International Sustainable Remediation Alliance (ISRA) was recently launched at SustRem 2016. Further information can be found here>>>>
“Land Contamination and Brownfield Management Policy Development in China: learning from the UK experience” has recently been published. The report can be downloaded directly from the CNUK website at cnukcontaminatedland.com/uk/downloads/.
On 19 April 2016, CL:AIRE supported the first International Symposium on Phytoremediation for Energy and Element Developments (SPEED) held at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in London. Global estimates indicate that there are over 400 million hectares of abandoned land unsuitable for agriculture due to contamination by toxic levels of metals.
Leading researchers explored the research challenges of using phyto treatment technologies to bring contaminated land back into use. The presentations and discussion looked at the economic and policy drivers for using this technology to not only clean land, but also to increase the value of the processes including metal and energy recovery from the biomass.
The Joint Agencies Groundwater Directive Advisory Group (JAGDAG) are currently consulting on proposed revisions to the Methodology for the determination of hazardous substances for the purposes of the Groundwater Directive (2006/118/EC).
The methodology is relevant to anyone who has responsibilities for inputs of pollutants to groundwater or who conducts any activity that could give rise to such inputs. This includes professional advisers to operators of such activities, trade associations and anyone else with an interest in groundwater protection, including members of the public.
SuRF International has recently published its notes from its meeting held on 9 March 2016 and are available from its dedicated web page: www.claire.co.uk/surfinternational.
To access the notes directly follow the link: http://www.claire.co.uk/index.php?option=com_phocadownload&view=file&id=528:initiatives&Itemid=230
The latest notes from the Land Forum meeting held on 8 March 2016 have recently been uploaded to the dedicated website www.claire.co.uk/landforum
The Environment Agency has just released its report Dealing with Contaminated Land in England: A review of progress from April 2000 to December 2013 with Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
It is available to download at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/513158/State_of_contaminated_land_report.pdf
The JIWG Asbestos in Soil and Construction & Demolition Materials has recently posted an update of its activities. To download the pdf click here >>>>
CL:AIRE has recently uploaded a number of new documents to WALL into the section: Risk Assessment -Assessing Risks to the Water Environment. These include piling into contaminated sites and a number of documents relating to potential groundwater pollutants from cemeteries. To access WALL: www.claire.co.uk/wall
Following the successful SAGTA/CL:AIRE Workshop held last month on the National Quality Mark Scheme, the presentations are now available for downloading by following the link: http://www.sagta.org.uk/Activities.html
CL:AIRE has signed up to partner with the Contamination Expo Series, a major new European exhibition which is organised in association with the Environment Agency at London’s ExCel on the 12-13 October 2016.
As a result of this partnership, CL:AIRE members are entitled to a discount on exhibition space.
The focus of the exhibition is to bring together professionals at the forefront of contamination prevention and remedy, including: Land Remediation, Water, Air, Spills and Hazardous Materials.
James Ashwood, Director of Prysm Environmental, who are organising the exhibition comments:
‘We are delighted to work with CL:AIRE on this exhibition, which is planned for 8,000 SQM and targeting 3,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors. We are arranging 120 hours of free-to-attend conference seminar content addressing regulation, case studies, panel debates and best practise from the UK and around the world. This will be a major exhibiting opportunity and knowledge exchange’.
Tickets for the exhibition are free, register at www.landcontaminationexpo.com
CL:AIRE is pleased to publish Research Bulletin RB19, called Regeneration of Brownfield Land Using Sustainable Technologies (ROBUST). ROBUST was a 5-year EPSRC funded project, approved as CL:AIRE Research Project 23, and involved a group of researchers at Durham University, headed by Dr Karen Johnson and Professor Clare Bambra from the departments of Engineering and Geography respectively.
The sustainable technologies in ROBUST involve using 'waste' products from industries including the water treatment, mineral extraction and steel making sectors. The ROBUST project bridged the gap between engineering and social science to consider the social impact of brownfield sites. This keyed into research based around the idea that green space can improve community health and wellbeing of local people living near the site.
CL:AIRE has released the Technology and Research Group (TRG) Annual Report for 2015, which is available to download here>>>
Its contents include:
Of particular note is Appendix 1 which describes the breadth of CL:AIRE's activities undertaken during the year.
CL:AIRE’s TRG provides strategic review, support and steering functions for CL:AIRE’s activities.
Mick George Ltd has opened a new disposal facility for asbestos and contaminated soils at Mepal, Cambridgeshire. Mick George Ltd operates one of the largest independent fleets in the country and has a comprehensive range of specialist containers, from asbestos bags to skips from 4 to 40 yd3 RORO’s. As well as servicing the needs of its own customer base, which includes some of the biggest names in UK construction, the Mepal facility is available to contractors and other waste operators at highly competitive disposal rates. Fully compliant paperwork, including tailored waste data reports, is available from Mick George Ltd for further assurance of professional, responsible and safe disposal of asbestos wastes and asbestos contaminated soils.
Defra have launched a consultation on the consultation-stage impact assessment on the estimated impacts of Defra’s guidance and data reforms which now apply to the Environment Agency.
Questions regarding the assumptions used in developing the estimates of costs and benefits resulting from these reforms can be found in Part B of the consultation survey. Defra also welcomes suggestions from stakeholder for additional sources of evidence.
Defra would also like to invite feedback from stakeholders on their recent experience of using Defra guidance and reporting information to Defra and its agencies. These questions can be found in Part C and Part D of the consultation.
The consultation can be found https://consult.defra.gov.uk/better-regulations/defra-guidance-data-reforms/consult_view
The deadline for comments is Wednesday 10 February 2016.
Joint Industry Working Group for Asbestos in Soil and Construction & Demolition Materials (JIWG) launch two decision support tools.
Theyhave been made freely available to industry practitioners in BETA format for the purpose of trialling their use on real-life situations.
The two tools are:
The JIWG would welcome feedback from users on these versions on their applicability and validity to the wide range of scenarios that may be encountered when assessing the potential risk from and asbestos licensing status of work with asbestos and asbestos-containing materials in the ground.
CL:AIRE is delighted to be partnering with The Geological Society in holding a one day conference in Cardiff, Wales on Monday 21 March 2016 focussing on land contamination.
As part of the Geological Society’s Year of Water this one day meeting will discuss the latest policy and how new technology can benefit the management, regulation, assessment and characterisation of land affected by contamination.