Draft DoE guidance on identifying contaminated land

Draft guidance to local authorities on how they should discharge their new duties under the Environment Bill to identify contaminated land was issued for consultation by the Department of the Environment (DoE) on 10 May.1 The core of the guidance is a risk assessment process which local authorities will have to follow before designating a site as contaminated. However, the paper skirts round a problem which scuppered the Government's previous attempt to identify contaminated sites by making only muted suggestions about what use councils should make of historical land use data for this purpose. The document also leaves unclear the boundaries between local councils' and the Environment Agency's responsibilities for identifying contaminated sites posing water pollution risks.

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