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On the 08 October 2020 by mid-day the Environment Agency (EA) will republish Land Contamination Risk Management (LCRM) which will replace CLR11. 

You will be able to access the updated document here

The EA has addressed extensive feedback on the technical content and structure of LCRM.  There was a lot of feedback on the usability of the current GOV.UK publishing format (a GOV.UK manual). The guidance will now be presented as 4 HTML guides that will sit on a unique publication page. The HTML guides are:

  1. Before you start the risk management process
  2. Risk assessment
  3. Options appraisal
  4. Remediation and verification

Reporting requirement checklists are included at the end of each stage.  The site investigation section is now an integral part of the risk assessment guide.

You can print the 4 HTML guides, search for particular terms more easily and save them as PDFs if required. However, the up to date version will always be on GOV.UK.

The majority of the comments were constructive and positive and the EA welcomed the feedback. The EA looked at:

  • the technical content
  • practical matters such as usability, printing, navigation and search
  • layout and structure including a lack of clarity over stages and tiers
  • suggestions for new content such as unexploded ordnance, communicating the risk, piling, geotechnical links and treatability studies
  • more alignment to British Standards for the site investigation section

There is now more emphasis on adopting a sustainable approach throughout using for example, the SURF-UK Framework.

The EA had some feedback on the lack of flow charts. The reformed content does not need all of the flow charts that were in CLR11.  It now follows a logical structure and options will be further reviewed based on feedback received.

There was a lot of feedback on the Options Appraisal Matrix. This will be amended and updated throughout 2020. The EA has concentrated on getting the main guidance document republished first.

Withdrawing CLR11

When the updated version of LCRM is published, the EA will formally withdraw CLR11.

CLR11 was archived from GOV.UK in 2016. In its current format it was not possible to republish it on GOV.UK. It had never been updated since 2004. Given CLR11’s status and recognition as the principal guidance for land contamination, this was not acceptable and so LCRM was produced as an updated and revised guidance document to replace the outdated CLR11. The EA met strict GOV.UK publishing requirements when drafting LCRM to provide clear and accessible content.

The EA is aware that CLR11 is extensively referenced. There is no immediate action to replace all of these references. If people search for CLR11 they will be redirected to LCRM. For sites that the EA regulate, reference must now be made to LCRM not CLR11.

Future updates

Now that the guidance is published online it will be easy to manage and update. Details of the updates will be visible on the LCRM GOV.UK landing page. The EA will make sure the document is kept up to date. The EA has copies of historical versions of LCRM which are available upon request if needed.

LCRM is always open for feedback and improvement. The EA will only be able to update LCRM periodically but if you want to provide any feedback you can continue to do so by emailing groundwater.enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk.

The EA wishes to thank everyone that took the time to respond.