Over the last couple of years CL:AIRE has celebrated several milestones, including celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019, and May this year marks 10 years since Richard Froggatt joined CL:AIRE as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, taking on the role of guiding our charity to become a recognised global knowledge-transfer organisation in land contamination management.
Having enjoyed a successful career as both an entrepreneur running his own property consultancy businesses and as Executive Main Board Director at a major PLC regeneration and investment company, Richard brought his talents and industry experience to bear at CL:AIRE, steering our multifaceted organisation through recent challenging times.
Under Richard's leadership we continue to fulfil our remit to develop training resources, disseminate information and provide a valuable service for all those involved in sustainable land reuse.
A word from the Chairman
It hardly seems possible that this May I will have been Chair of the Board of Trustees for 10 years.
It started so innocently! Having spent most of my career specialising in regeneration as Executive Main Board Director of an extremely successful PLC, I had decided to take things a little easier. Some of us never learn!
An unexpected approach led to a meeting and interview with an organisation whose name was unknown to me. It was only when I learned more, that I started to appreciate that CL:AIRE was, and is, a rather special organisation and that perhaps I could help shape its future.
A lot has happened over the past 10 years. Starting with a Board of 10, we now have an exceptional Board of seven. We have had some bridges to cross in taking CL:AIRE from being a Government Initiative to being fully private sector funded, but our core values have never changed. Independence, integrity and expertise are key.
CL:AIRE has an ever increasing national and international reputation. For this we owe our thanks to a dedicated team of exceptional individuals who have faced up to every challenge.
We are not resting on our laurels. We are constantly seeking ways to help support and lead our industry and develop and create new and better standards for the future.
Notable achievements at CL:AIRE during the last 10 years
In 2020, nearly 25 million cubic metres of soils were saved from being disposed of as waste and going to landfill, by using the Definition of Waste Code of Practice (DoW CoP) - the approximate equivalent of 1/16th of the total volume of all the human beings on earth (thank you Wolfram Alpha) - in one year. Back in 2010, the volume processed was approximately 6.5 million cubic metres, an increase of over 370% in 10 years. The DoW CoP main document has been downloaded 48,732 times and we've run more than 50 training sessions on DoW CoP, registering over 400 Qualified Persons.
With the support of the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales, the volume of soils declared via the DoW CoP and kept out of landfill, continues to increase year on year and recognises that soil is a valuable and reusable resource.
As part of the DoW CoP, the Register of Materials was made available on the CL:AIRE website in 2011, providing a free service for matching sites with surplus materials with sites requiring materials, and vice-versa. To date, we have listed 174 Donor sites, 91 Receiver sites and 19 Soil Treatment Facilities.
2011 also saw the development and launch of CL:AIRE's original eLearning courses under the title Remediation Technologies, and we have gone on to develop eLearning courses on Soil and Groundwater Risk Assessment, Sustainable Remediation Appraisal, Introduction to Brownfield Site Investigation and Asbestos Awareness for Land Professionals.
In January 2017, CL:AIRE became the Scheme Administrator for the National Quality Mark Scheme for Land Contamination Management (NQMS), a Quality Mark developed by the National Brownfield Forum to show that work has been properly carried out and follows the correct guidance.
4 years later in January 2021, CL:AIRE launched the Gas Protection Verification Accreditation Scheme (GPVS), which 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.
Both the NQMS and the GPVS are now signposted by the Environment Agency on the Land Contamination Risk Management web pages on .gov.uk.
SuRF UK, the UK Sustainable Remediation Forum, continues to produce guidance and tools for assessing the sustainability of soil and groundwater remediation, and for incorporating sustainable development criteria in land contamination management strategies. SuRF UK is part of SuRF International, administered by CL:AIRE, and a member of the International Sustainable Remediation Alliance.
CL:AIRE is part of the project management team for the C4SL research project, which has provided a framework and technical guidance to support Defra's revised Statutory Guidance for Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and is now developing C4SLs for a range of contaminants selected after industry consultation.
A cornerstone of CL:AIRE as a charity, Membership has grown to 29 Principal Members and 78 Supporter members from across all industry stakeholders:- consultants, contractors, developers, utilities, nuclear, regulators, local authorities and universities. Our members support CL:AIRE and in turn, we are able to support industry.
Since 2011, CL:AIRE has published more than 50 bulletins and guidance documents, including industry-leading Technical Guidance such as LNAPL Handbook (2014), CAR-SOIL (2016), Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Groundwater (2017) and most recently, Statistics for Comparing Soil Contamination Data with a Critical Concentration (2020).
We've commissioned and run classroom training to support several of the published guidance subjects, including CAR-SOIL and Statistics for Comparing Soil Contamination Data with a Critical Concentration, and to date, over 1,000 people have been trained in asbestos in soil related courses through CL:AIRE.
During the last 10 years, we have organised successful conferences on Asbestos in Soil (2011, 230+ delegates) and In Situ Remediation (2015, 100+ delegates), and in 2019 we celebrated CL:AIRE's 20th Anniversary with a conference for 200+ delegates.
CL:AIRE's Water and Land Library (WALL), a freely available and extensive link library, is fast becoming the 'go to' portal to past and present water and land references published by the Environment Agency, AGS and other useful industry publishers.
CL:AIRE continues to participate in both UK and European research projects - ReCon Soil, EiCLaR, Legacy wastes in the coastal zone and ICEC-MCM, and during the last decade has contributed to projects including ROBUST, R3AW, CL4W, TRAINBIODIVERSE, ADVOCATE, IMaHg, NANOREM and INSPIRATION.
Other key contributions include participation in the Asbestos in Soil Joint Industry Working Group (JIWG), National Brownfield Forum, Common Forum and the Contaminated Land Expert Panel.