Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Land contamination is a general term that describes land that is contaminated, for example, by substances such as:
Land may be contaminated by accidents or spills, leaking underground storage tanks, past industrial uses and waste disposal.
Land contamination investigations may be carried out in various circumstances, for example:
In Northern Ireland you will need to show the Planning Service that you have assessed the contamination risks to health and the environment when you submit a planning application. If contamination is identified at the site, you must submit and agree a remediation strategy with the Planning Service that will make the site suitable for the proposed use. You will have to carry out the remediation as a condition of your planning approval.
In Scotland your local authority has a duty to inspect its area to identify whether there is any contaminated land under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act. This describes a specific type of land contamination where substances in, on or under the land cause, or could cause:
Part 2A deals with contamination caused by past uses of a site, such as former factories, mines, steelworks, refineries and landfills.
Local authorities will identify contaminated land, allocate responsibility for contamination where possible and take action to ensure land is cleaned up, known as remediation.
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