There are a few different titles used for what is essentially the first step in understanding risk at a site from possible contaminated land.  Some refer to this phase of work as “Phase 1”; “Stage 1”; “Preliminary Site Investigation”; ...

What is a Phase 1 Environmental Investigation?

There are a few different titles used for what is essentially the first step in understanding risk at a site from possible contaminated land.  Some refer to this phase of work as “Phase 1”; “Stage 1”; “Preliminary Site Investigation”; “Desk Study” but they all generally contain the same core elements:

  • A [Desk Study] site history review;
  • A site walkover survey;
  • A discussion with local Stakeholders or other parties;
  • A Preliminary Conceptual Site Model or Preliminary/Generic Risk Assessment
  • Conclusions and Recommendations

You are on the starting grid of between 3 to 5 phases of investigation of your site potentially, getting it right at this point will make all the difference in the long run.

This phase of work doesn’t usually involve sample collection or other physical work other than a site walkover, but this can sometimes be included if the project or site warrants it.

While we prepare our white paper on Phase 1 and Phase 2 investigations, why not visit our website or get in touch with us.

Soil Remediation Guide

Everything you wanted to know about soil remediation but were too afraid to ask!

This free guide will help you understand the whats, the whys and the hows of soil remediation in the simplest terms. Download it now for free!

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Do I need a Phase 1 Environmental Site Investigation?

Are you buying, selling or developing a bit of land in the UK?  In all probability there will be clause in a planning condition to undertake a contaminated land assessment as part of the planning process.  Underlying this request from your Local Authority Planning Department are several regulations and guidelines that provide the basis for their request.

To put it simply, a Phase 1 is the first step, as shown below, in providing enough information to understand the potential risk that might exist from contaminated land (which also includes water) on or next to your property and provide the basis for any subsequent steps.  Managing risks is a key to limiting your exposure to liability and potential costs

For a bit more information check out our website, we are completing a white paper on this subject and will publish it very soon.

Soil Remediation Guide

Everything you wanted to know about soil remediation but were too afraid to ask!

This free guide will help you understand the whats, the whys and the hows of soil remediation in the simplest terms. Download it now for free!

Download!

 

Scotland’s (Non) Circular Economy Strategy

In June 2012 The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth set out his vision for tax raising powers in Scotland through his statement to the Scottish Parliament

In this he confirmed that the Scottish Government’s approach to Landfill Tax (LfT) will support the Government’s purpose of achieving sustainable economic growth.  Well it’s almost a year since Revenue Scotland took over LfT and what a year it’s been…!

It started with SEPA, the bastions of all things environmental, persuading RS that perfectly recyclable soils should only attract the lower rate of LfT…!  Despite their web site claiming that…”Disposal to landfill is the least preferred option in the waste hierarchy and should only be used as a last resort after re-use, recycling and recovery options, as an escalating scale of taxation on materials being sent to landfill has made this an increasingly expensive option.”

After some consternation from the recycling industry RS undertook a consultation in which SEPA nailed their colours to the mast and aligned themselves with the landfill fraternity.

So, armed with little justification and completely ignoring the European Waste Framework Directive, the Scottish Zero Waste Plan, and an ironically titled publication called “Making Things Last” signed only this year (2016) by our erstwhile Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment Richard Lochhead, RS then went on to declare the inevitable result and went with SEPA’s preference.  Somewhat, not surprising that the the Chair of RS Board, Dr Keith Nicholson, is also on the board for SEPA…I kid you not.

So where has this left us.  Well, the soil remediation recycling sector has, as you would expect, suffered considerably with inevitable job losses, closure of a treatment center and the industry has become a Non-Circular Economy sector. But rest assured it has made the life of SEPA so much easier through reducing their workload in regulating the waste soil industry.  So we can all now sleep soundly knowing that our public sector servants are spending our taxes wisely…!

But don’t worry, SEPA continue to espouse that a more circular economy will benefit:

  • the environment – cutting waste and carbon emissions and reducing reliance on scarce resources;
  • the economy – improving productivity, opening up new markets and improving resilience; and
  • communities – more, lower cost options to access the goods we need with opportunities for social enterprise.

If you feel we’re being hoodwinked or simply want to know more about how we can save you loads of money by land-filling your waste soils up here in Scotland, why not give us a call to discuss.

 

World War I ordnance may be contaminating food

French officials have uncovered an ordnance disposal site in the Meuse region where shells left over from the First World War were dismantled and are contaminating the soil.  The affected area is close to Verdun, the northeastern French city where a famous battle was fought in which over 300,000 German and French Soldiers died.

Local authorities have banned farmers from selling their produce due to traces of metal and chemical compounds being found in the soil, including arsenic, lead, and zinc. Traces of explosives and industrial chemicals used in the disposal of the shells were also found.

Authorities submitted samples of locally grown wheat, barley, and sweetcorn for testing and also milk from cows grazing in the area. Results show that safety thresholds for substances that have them were not exceeded but other substances detected during testing do not currently have regulatory thresholds.  So as a precautionary measure, the powers at be have decided to carry out further testing to determine if the levels of the compounds are harmful to humans.

Are you aware of any historical uses on your land?  If the MOD were involved there’s every likelihood that you may have something lurking beneath you that should not really be there…!  If you’re ever in doubt why not drop us a line for a brief confidential chat – we don’t bite…!

Soil Remediation Guide

Everything you wanted to know about soil remediation but were too afraid to ask!

This free guide will help you understand the whats, the whys and the hows of soil remediation in the simplest terms. Download it now for free!

Download!
 

Landfill tax rates as of 1st April 2016

The new rates of UK Landfill taxation rates from the 1st April 2017 are;

Standard rate – £86.10

Lower rate – £2.70

OK, so this modest increase in landfill tax is not really a deduction but if your have perfectly recyclable Non-Hazardous contaminated soils then the reality is that you will only have to pay the lower rate of LFT, so it is in reality a deduction in what you should really be paying.

We all know that this is counter productive to achieving the Scottish Zero Waste Plan but as SEPA are the promoters of this position (see post –
Is landfill the new solution to pollution – SEPA think so) then any recycling of soils to divert waste away from landfill to restore the tens of thousands of derelict land is not going to happen until they see sense.  Which, given recent discussions with them will not be for a very long time as their budgets were cut and so they’re trying to reduce their workload…!

Long live ‘dig and dump’…!

Anyone got a lorry we can hire…?

Soil classification and disposal guide

Guide to soil classification and disposal options

This free guide will help you understand the whats, the whys and the hows of waste soil classification in the simplest terms. Download it now for free!

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