All local authorities have a duty to inspect their areas for contaminated land, and to deal with any contamination in a satisfactory way in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
The act defines contaminated land as an area where significant harm is being caused or is likely to take place because of the substances in, on, or under the land, or where the pollution of controlled waters has occurred, or is likely to be caused.
All councils throughout the country are legally obliged to produce a strategy for contaminated land – we have developed our strategy in accordance with government guidelines, working closely with the Environment Agency.
The strategy sets out our approach to our legal duties regarding contaminated land, such as how we will:
- inspect our area for any land which may be contaminated
- notify affected persons of any identified contaminated land
- decide, in consultation with the Environment Agency, whether any contaminated land is a ‘special site’ due to the presence of conditions such as waste, acid or polluted controlled waters
- consult on, and formally require, appropriate action when contaminated land has been found
- take enforcement action against those who fail to comply with any necessary measures
- maintain a public register of contaminated land