Steps an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) should take when faced with contaminated land
Produced in partnership with Ashurst

The following Restructuring & Insolvency practice note produced in partnership with Ashurst provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Steps an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) should take when faced with contaminated land
  • Background to the contaminated land regime (the regime)
  • Contaminated land
  • Who identifies the land as contaminated land?
  • Who is responsible?
  • Exclusion tests
  • Determining responsibility for clean-up
  • Remediation
  • Relationship with the Environmental Permitting Regime
  • Relationship with the Planning Regime
  • More...

Steps an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) should take when faced with contaminated land

Background to the contaminated land regime (the regime)

The contaminated land regime is set out in Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990). It is a statutory regime dealing with the remediation of contaminated land that causes an unacceptable level of risk to human health and the environment. Local authorities must identify contaminated land using a risk based approach. The relevant enforcing authority (primarily the local authority, but also the Environment Agency (EA) or Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in special cases) must identify those responsible for the contamination, require them to investigate, assess and remediate the land to a condition that is suitable for its current use.

Contaminated land

Contaminated land has a specific meaning under this regime—it is any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land, where:

  1. significant harm is being caused, or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused

  2. significant pollution of controlled waters (ie territorial waters, coastal waters, inland fresh waters and ground waters) is being, or there is a significant possibility of such pollution being caused

To prove that the land is contaminated for the purposes of the legislation, the regulator will need to show

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