The Environment Agency is producing updates to Land Contamination Risk Management (LCRM). These are planned to be published on the 12 April 2021.
Adoption of LCRM in Wales and Northern Ireland
The EA are pleased to announce that Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has adopted LCRM and provide a link to it on their main land contamination page. LCRM will also be updated to reflect this.
Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) are also in the process of adopting LCRM. They are currently updating their ‘Practice guide - redeveloping land affected by contamination.’ The EA will update LCRM to reflect this when NIEA are ready.
Gas Protection Verification Accreditation Scheme (GPVS)
The EA are also pleased to see the launch of the GPVS and alongside the National Quality Mark Scheme for Land Contamination (NQMS) they support its use. There will be reference to the GPVS in the ‘competent person’ section and throughout LCRM.
The scheme seeks to raise standards in membrane inspection, verification and reporting and provide all stakeholders involved in land contamination management with confidence that risks associated with ground gases have been adequately managed.
Updated protocol for rapid measurement techniques
The EA has updated the chemical testing of soils in the intrusive site investigation section to include a protocol for the use of rapid measurement techniques.
On sites they regulate, the EA require MCERTS Accreditation for soils. MCERTS accreditation can also apply to rapid measurement techniques. This relates to accreditation of the company who is doing the testing, not the rapid measurement technique device. If the rapid measurement technique does not have MCERTS accreditation the EA expect you to use the protocol for the sites they regulate.
There are many advantages for the correct use of rapid measurement techniques. The protocol involves:
- giving an appropriate person, the authority and overall responsibility for their use
- defining the roles and responsibilities of all staff
- document control and record keeping
- standard operating procedures and sampling plans
- quality assurance, including internal and external quality control
- auditing of the staff
Check with NRW or NIEA as they might have different requirements.
The EA and NRW are working on joint guidance which covers the Environmental Permitting Regulations aspects of land contamination. This will include information on some of the most common types of remediation techniques. When this is published (expected Summer 2021) it will tie in with and link to the remediation option applicability matrix. The EA did get feedback on the matrix but haven’t updated it yet as they were working on this new guidance.
Ongoing improvements to LCRM
The EA aim to keep LCRM as up to date as possible and this is now easy to do as it is published on GOV.UK. If you have any feedback you can contact Phil Fitzgerald via firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are also plans to look at how land contamination in general is presented on GOV.UK to improve things. LCRM will be the focal point with a clear structure and layout to other key guidance and links.