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Section 143
Romeo 2
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Standards and Guidelines
Keywords :- How this page is structured
Fitness for use |
Multifunctionality |
The Superfund |
Guidelines |
Tie me standards down sport |
Die Hard Lethal Weapon Rambo


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Standards and Guidelines   >

Fitness for use


In Britain the underlying philosophy is one of fitness for use, i.e. contaminated land should be restored according to the planned usage.

Hence a site that will become a light industrial redevelopment will have a different usage (and burden of cost) than a site that is to be used for agricultural purposes.


 

Multifunctionality

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At the other extreme the Netherlands and the USA adopt the approach of multifunctionality, i.e. improvement to a standard suitable for any possible use.

In part this is a function of the geology of the Netherlands (granular sands and soils with a high water-table permitting easy groundwater movement).

The geology of the UK permits a more paragmatic approach as glacial clay capping tends to lock the potential pollutants in place.


 

The Superfund


The US has another form of blight - in the form of a legal system that encourages hitting the deepest pocket in order to pay for clean-up.

The average site in the USA costs around $40 million to clean up, hence deep pockets are the order of the day. The Love Canal episode, it must be admitted, also acted as a spur to setting up the Superfund.


 

The Guidelines

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The two main sets of guidelines currently in use are :-

a) ICRCL 59/83 (The Interdepartmental Committee on the Redevelopment of Contaminated Land)

b) The Dutch List (initially known as the "A B C List" but now modified to the New Dutch List)

The former is based on the most appropriate use of the site (and is British), whilst the latter is based on multifunctionality (and is suprise, suprise - Dutch).

In the good old bad old days when the GLC (The Greater London Council) reigned supreme it carried out an investigation into former gasworks sites. This produced another set of guidelines - known as the The Kelly Indices - named after the officer who instigated and oversaw the work.


 

Tie me standards down sport

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There is also alot of work going on in Australia with regard to developing standards. At first sight this seems rather curious, as there is no sign of any pollution in Ramsey Street, although of course young Kylie did start out as a motor mechanic !

However Australia did have an industrial past, and it it this that is now being addressed. The National Environmental Protection Council for Australia has just produced a draft National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM) for contaminated land management.

This document consists of nine volumes covering all major contaminated land investigation and management issues, and is available for free download. The only problem (if your browser does not support Adobe Acrobat) is that it is in PDF format.


 

Die Hard Lethal Weapon Rambo

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Yes you have guessed, the Government has done a Hollywood and once again issued a follow-up to their guidance on the forthcoming Contaminated land legislation. It is amazing to think that the gestation period of this piece of legislation (which was conceived in 1990), has not only outlived Margret Thatcher, John Major and Paddy Ashdown, but has also been embraced by the GM-Tory party! It seems that only come-back kids Michael Portillo and Peter Mandelson have a chance of being around when it comes into force - that is if the Millennium bug doesn't get them first.

It reminds one of the film 'Groundhog Day' (where the chief character is doomed to relive each day as an identical replay of the previous one). OK so the guidance changes a little (proving, if nothing else, that Darwins theory of evolution was fundamentally correct) but at the end of the day the end result is still the same - it will always come into effect in six months time!

6 months from now it will be, er um, April 2000. Somehow it seems difficult to believe that on April Fools Day there will be legislation put into force that will :-

  1. Put the housing market into slump (land blight)
  2. Legalise Badger-baiting (honest Gov' its a trial pit)
  3. Prevent fox-hunting (a toast to the gentlemen in moleskin trousers)
  4. Enable anyone who can spell 'Contamination' to make a fortune in consulting fees
Anyway enough of the vitriol, the key points covered in the latest Contaminated land guidance and request for comments issued on 11th October 1999, are as follows:


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[Page created: 11th Nov 65, Last Update: 15th October 99]
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