Two thirds of land identified as being affected by industrial contamination in England and Wales is estimated to have undergone some form of remediation, according
to estimates published today (Thursday) by the Environment Agency.
Looking at both chemical and radiological contamination, the new report Indicators for Land Contamination examines the legacy of a long industrial past
in England and Wales, to assist in managing land contamination.
The results of the study show that in England and Wales:
an estimated 67,000 hectares, an area roughly the size of Greater Manchester, has been identified as being affected to some extent by chemical contamination
an estimated 44,000 hectares of land affected by chemical contamination has undergone some form of remediation
Additionally, the study looked at the extent of land that has been used by industries employing either chemicals and / or radiological material at some point
in its history. This is simply a measure of land use that may have caused
chemical or radiological substances to be present and does not mean that the land has actually been affected by contamination or identified as contaminated.
The results of the study show:
At some point in its history, an estimated 300,000 ha of land (325,000 sites) has been used by potentially contaminating activities. For example
the site of gas works, chemical works or industrial works.
Radioactive material has been used, stored or disposed of on an estimated 27,000 ha of land (53,000 sites). For example, the site of a former radium
luminising workshop or hospitals using radioactive sources.
Of those 53,000 sites, the report estimates that between 100 and 1000 sites (with the best estimate being 250) may require consideration under the proposed
extension of Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act to include radioactivity.
However, only a fraction of these sites are expected to be found to be contaminated to a degree which would require remediation.
Copies of the report can be down loaded at http://publications.environment-agency.g ...