Contaminated Land
Written by Administrator
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 16:02

In Northern Ireland, contaminated land provisions are made under the Waste & Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997. Although specific enabled regulations comparable to the Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2000 are not yet in existence, the contaminated land regime in Northern Ireland is active.



Definition & Legislation     
“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, that
a) significant harm is being caused or there is significant possibility of such harm being caused; or
b) pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be caused”
 UK Environmental Protection Act 1990

Contaminated Sites
Contaminated Land can be present at any number of locations, where redevelopment can be impeded by the presence of pollutants which pose risk to future site users.
·         Former Industrial Sites
·         Commercial & Retail Properties
·         Petrol Stations
·         Military Bases
·         Fuel & Chemical Spills


Types of Contamination
Contaminants present within soils and waters originate from a variety of sources and can include;
·         Hydrocarbons eg: oils, diesel, petrol
·         Heavy Metals eg: mercury, cadmium, lead
·         Organics eg: chloride, sulphate

The technique used to mitigate contaminated land risk depends on the type and extent of the contamination, future use of the site, physical nature of the ground conditions, presence of any groundwater and a range of other factors. Dependent upon these, Practical Waste can employ a range of technologies including;
·         Bioremediation
·         Stabilisation
·         Air Sparging
·         Vapour Extraction
·         Encapsulation