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The Environment Agency (EA) has published an update to the Model procedures for the management of land contamination (CLR11).

The updated online guidance is called: Land contamination: risk management (LCRM).

The EA is looking for feedback on the technical content and structure for a period of 6 months. Details of how to respond will be included in the guide.

CLR11 was introduced as a research document in 2004. It soon became the principal guidance for managing the risks from land contamination. It has never been updated. CLR11 was archived from GOV.UK in 2016 as part of the smarter guidance project. Archived content can be used for historical reference but it does not represent official EA or government guidance - it cannot be used or relied upon as such. CLR11 is too significant, widely used and referenced to leave in the National Archive.

Reformed content

The EA has developed the reformed content based on the principles of CLR11. The scope, purpose and the framework of CLR11 remains the same. The reformed content:

  • represents up-to-date government guidance on land contamination risk management and is fully compliant to be published on GOV.UK
  • complies with new accessibility laws that the EA must meet – it must be:
  • accessible for people with disabilities - for example, be usable with assistive technology like screen readers
  • navigable, concise, clear and understandable to all
  • is web-based, easier to manage, maintain and keep up to date
  • is now more user focussed, shorter and easier to understand
  • is clear on what you have to do and where to find out more – the EA has retained the same referencing system as part 3 of CLR11, for example INFO-RA1
  • has to be aimed at people that might be doing this for the first time as well as experienced professionals
  • is available online to use on all devices (laptop, mobile phone, tablet)

The technical language, terminology and content has been updated, explained and retained where necessary.  Repetition and general background information has been removed so that the EA can meet GOV.UK publishing requirements.

The remediation process has been improved. The emphasis is now on developing and producing a single remediation strategy.

To accommodate this, some of the latter stages and tiers have been revised and reordered. Stage 2 now focusses on options appraisal whereas stage 3 is all about remediation and verification. This does not impact upon:

  • the framework and purpose introduced by CLR11
  • any ongoing or planned land contamination projects

LCRM was produced as a solution to CLR11 being archived. CLR11 will be permanently withdrawn after the feedback. This will avoid any confusion over which guidance to use.

The EA is actively seeking feedback so that the new guidance is acceptable to both industry and regulators. 

LCRM will represent the latest EA guidance on land contamination and it’s what they expect people to use.