SYSTRA offers the full suite of land contamination and remediation services, from preliminary land contamination risk assessments through to remediation recommendations, implementation and post-remediation monitoring.

Regenerating industrial and brownfield sites is an important way to unlock much-needed development space in the UK – but these sites often pose risks associated with land contamination from former uses. Identifying potential land contamination risks, mitigating those risks and cleaning up contamination where necessary are key to successful brownfield site regeneration.

It’s essential to understand the legislative constraints on developing contaminated land, as well as the risks and liabilities involved and how to manage them. Failing to deal properly with contamination can result in health hazards for humans and wildlife, and risks to properties – as well as deterring future investment.

For landowners, developers, planning consultants, infrastructure operators and contractors, finding a cost-effective solution to identify, assess and remove land contamination is essential for any proposed development. It’s important to understand how land contamination risks can be managed to ensure compliance with current legislation, and to achieve successful planning approvals.

Discover how SYSTRA has applied innovation, technology and ingenuity to re-think infrastructure engineering solutions to optimise time, budget, safety and sustainability.

The contaminated land and remediation specialists at SYSTRA offer comprehensive environmental advice and services to help clients manage and mitigate land contamination in accordance with Environment Agency/SEPA and Local Authority requirements.

Our collaborative approach enables us to manage contamination risk as part of multidisciplinary infrastructure projects. We assess soil contamination, ground gas and groundwater contamination risks, and devise remediation solutions alongside other key project participants – including ground engineers, civil and structural engineers, architects and environmental services specialist.

Land contamination risk management

We guide clients through the entire land contamination risk management and remediation process, providing the required assessments and mitigations at each stage – so that risks are managed as part of the entire project design programme.

We understand legislative constraints on developing contaminated land, and use preliminary assessments to identify risks at the outset – helping to minimise costs and reduce delays later on. We focus on ensuring a smooth handover from the completion of contaminated land management to validating remediation works, and verifying construction works. We also capture any residual risks to ensure these are passed on and understood by future stakeholders.

Preliminary risk assessments (PRA) and due diligence reports

Our land contamination assessments begin with Phase 1 desk-based preliminary risk assessments, site appraisals and environmental due diligence assessments. These enable us to identify potential unacceptable risks and constraints at an early stage. Our investigations establish potential sources, pathways and receptors of contamination, and levels of risk – following the Source Pathway Receptor Pollutant Linkage approach.

The results of Phase 1 assessments are used to communicate unacceptable risks to the various project stakeholders, and to identify risk mitigation and further works required to manage those risks.

Working alongside the SYSTRA environmental consenting team, we guide clients through the “management of contaminated land” aspects of planning consents, including the management of the regulatory regime Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act.

Quantitative contaminated land risk assessments

To address the potential unacceptable risks and constraints identified by the Phase 1 risk assessment, we can carry out Phase 2 generic and detailed quantitative risk assessments for human health, controlled waters and ground gas. Our processes follow the management of land contamination framework.

We use the information collected from geo-environmental site investigations to refine the areas of concern. Using a tier assessment approach, we refine decision making to identify only those areas considered to pose an unacceptable risk without intervention. Our geo-environmental risk management engineers are skilled in using industry-standard software as decision making tools for estimating and evaluating these risks.

Our contaminated land and remediation services include:

  • Preliminary (desk-based) contamination assessments
  • Development of conceptual site models
  • Environmental impact assessments and scoping reports
  • Environmental auditing and site familiarisation walk-outs
  • Generic and detailed quantitative soil, controlled waters and ground gas risk assessments
  • Contaminant fate and transport modelling
  • Remediation options appraisals
  • Contamination remediation strategy and verification plans
  • Remediation works supervision and verification reporting

Remediation options appraisal and implementation

Where unacceptable risks requiring intervention are identified, we help clients find feasible remediation options. These could include soil contamination remediation and groundwater contamination remediation measures. We provide a detailed remediation implementation strategy for use in regulatory communications and to advise any remediation contractors. We work closely with specialist remediation contractors to ensure the options are practicable and cost effective to implement. We also consider sustainability as a key factor in appraising remediation options, in line with the Sustainable Remediation Forum (SuRF UK) framework.

Phase 3 validation and verification reporting

As part of the statutory requirements for managing land contamination, SYSTRA can support land development on brownfield sites by providing Phase 3 verification and validation reporting. We draw up the verification plan, and report on the performance of remedial works carried out. We can also support any ongoing monitoring or maintenance that might be required to demonstrate the successful implementation of the remediation strategy.

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