Aquifer pollution inventory sets the scene for tussles over clean-up

The first inventory of point sources which have caused groundwater pollution in England and Wales will be published shortly by the Environment Agency. Landfills account for one-third of the 1,205 sites identified, but solvents and pesticides are top of the pollution severity scale. A new pollution prevention drive will be needed from the Agency to head off further expensive aquifer contamination by chlorinated solvents and other organic chemicals - but two Department of the Environment consultation papers on the new contaminated land regime have failed to settle important questions about how the Agency will exercise its statutory powers to clean up polluted groundwater.

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