Waste Management, Groundworks and Remediation
Over the past few years there has been an increasing awareness of issues surrounding land contamination and the potential for substances on, in or under land to impact upon people, animals and the wider environment.
The government has set a target of 60% new build on previously used land, often referred to as ‘brownfield sites’.
Frequently, these sites have some form of contamination present upon them usually arising from past activities, particularly those of an industrial nature.
One of the first tasks in the redevelopment of such ‘brownfield sites’ is dealing with the legacy of its past uses.
This is done through effective intrusive site investigation and the development of a remediation plan. The method of remediation is dependent upon a number of factors, including the nature of contaminants present, the subsurface geology and the available time frames. Although the market for remediation technologies such as cement stabilisation or types of bioremediation is expanding in the UK, the majority of remediation (around 75%) still involves less technical solutions, primarily excavation and reuse or disposal.
There has been a significant increase in costs of disposal of material to landfill sites and there will soon be a substantial drop in the numbers of disposal sites which will be able to accept material classified as Hazardous Waste due to the implementation of new European legislation.
Because of both the increase in costs and the drop in capacity, groundwork contractors are now being required to undertake more sampling and analysis of materials prior to disposal.This allows for more affective delineation and classification of materials that are to be disposed of and those which are suitable to be reused on site.
Additionally, local authorities, site developers and the Environment Agency now require more and better quality information to be produced from this process as a way of controlling costs, reducing the potential for future liabilities and also fulfilling legal obligations such as the Duty of Care.
Before groundworks are undertaken and if no remediation plan has been produced then a review of available information needs to be undertaken by a suitable specialist to identify:
What information is available with regard to potential or actual contamination on the site
If further information is required in order to formulate a remediation plan (this may require supplementary investigations).
If a remediation plan has been produced it should be assessed for its suitability for the proposed works. Remediation plans are often based on outline designs and may require adaptation as the intended use of the site or design of any buildings may have changed.
Through employing a consultant early on in the process, preferably before any plant is brought to site, significant savings can be made from reductions in stoppage time; effective delineation of materials either for waste classification purposes or for reuse on site and efficient collection of information pertaining to the site that is presented in a comprehensible manner. This latter is required both for the developer and to satisfy the statutory authorities.
ESG has been involved in a wide range of development projects working to ensure groundwork contractors have sufficient and accurate information to prevent stoppage and reduce costs. We are able to provide a comprehensive consultancy service including:
Reviews of existing information such as site investigation reports, geotechnical reports, correspondence etc. to identify the requirement for further information about a site or to produce an overall report bringing together all the important points
Designing, commissioning and supervising any supplementary Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigations required in order to provide any missing information
Design & Implementation of remedial schemes and undertaking post remediation monitoring (Phase 3)
Liaison with developers and statutory authorities on behalf of clients (e.g. the Environment Agency, local authorities, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) etc.)
Provision of site chemists to monitor, document and supervise remediation works
Validation of remediation (Phase 4) and production of Post Remediation Validation Reports and remediation statements.
ESG undertake site investigations and reporting in accordance with relevant guidelines including BS 10175: 2001 and Environment Agency guidance. We have extensive experience in undertaking site investigations on a wide range of sites.
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