Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Environmental damage caused by land contamination

Environmental damage caused by land contamination

The environmental liability regime forces businesses to take action to prevent environmental damage and to remedy any damage they cause.

The regime applies to environmental damage that occurred on or after:

  • 24 July 2009 in Northern Ireland
  • 24 June 2009 in Scotland.

Land contamination may be classed as environmental damage if it creates a significant risk of harm to human health, or has serious adverse effects on the water environment or the biodiversity of protected species or habitats. If your activities cause, or could cause, land contamination that is classed as environmental damage you will have to prevent or remediate (clean up) such damage.

For information on how the environmental liability regime applies to land, water, and protected species and habitats, see our guideline:

Environmental damage

You may also have liabilities to clean up land contamination under other legislation. See the page in this guideline on responsibilities for land contamination

In this Guideline

Defining land contamination

Responsibilities for land contamination

Preventing land contamination

Environmental damage caused by land contamination

Cleaning up contaminated land

Buying land affected by contamination

Insuring against the risk of land contamination

Contaminated land environmental legislation

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