Revised guidance on communicating contaminated land risks was published in September.
Commissioned by the Scotland & Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER), Communicating Understanding of Contaminated Land Risks updates the original guidance from 1999.
It covers technical and non-technical issues, including the public’s perception of risk and comprises two parts: a comprehensive guidance manual developed by Arup Scotland and Ray Kemp Consulting1, and a quick reference guide developed by SNIFFER and a technical advisory group.2
Much has changed in the brownfield and communications landscapes since 1999, including: the development of contaminated land regimes, rising pressure for brownfield development, increased access to information through the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations and greater demand for improved governance, transparency and accountability.
The guidance seeks to account for these factors and provide clarity to contaminated and brownfield land redevelopment practitioners.
It is of particular relevance to council officers, environment agency staff, communications specialists, environmental consultants and others involved with communicating contaminated land risks. Please also see this feature on the remediation of Bayer CropScience's former site in Hauxton.
The guidance provides advice on developing an effective risk communication strategy, engaging fully with stakeholders and understanding and addressing their concerns.
Co-funded by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the Environment Agency, it is applicable across the UK.
Technical direction and review was provided by SEPA, NIEA, North Ayrshire Council, CIRIA, CLAIRE, Southern Group Environmental Health Committee (Northern Ireland) and Health Protection Scotland.