Contaminated land—voluntary remediation
Contaminated land—voluntary remediation

The following Environment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Contaminated land—voluntary remediation
  • Prohibition on serving remediation notices
  • Standard of remediation
  • Remediation statements
  • Enforcing remediation statements

Owners of land affected by contamination may decide to remediate the land without formal action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Pt IIA (EPA 1990). Voluntary remediation should be encouraged wherever practicable, provided that the standard of remediation is at least equivalent to the standard required under Pt IIA.

Prohibition on serving remediation notices

Enforcing authorities are prohibited from serving a remediation notice under Pt IIA in respect of contaminated land where appropriate remediation is being, or will be done without the service of a notice. In practice, this may occur where the appropriate person, or some other person:

  1. agrees to carry out particular remediation actions, eg where remediation actions are agreed during the consultation period ('agreed remediation')

  2. plans to carry out equivalent remediation, eg in accordance with planning conditions before redevelopment commences or in accordance with a programme for remediating a portfolio of sites ('planned remediation')

  3. is required to carry out equivalent remediation pursuant to enforcement action under some other regime, eg pursuant to a works notice ('required remediation')

An appropriate person may also enter into a written agreement with the enforcing authority, for the authority to carry out the