Section 78A(2) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 defines "Contaminated Land" as:
- “Contaminated land” is 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 a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or
- (b) significant pollution of controlled waters is being caused, or there is a significant possibility of such pollution being caused;
The Contaminated Land Report (CLR) series of documents have been produced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency, to provide regulators with "relevant, appropriate, authoritative and scientifically based information and advice on the assessment of risk from contamination in soils".
The Environment Agency has issued a number of Soil Guideline Values (SGVs) which, whilst non-binding, may be used as guidance in the environmental risk assessment of land and in setting remediation targets. They should only be applied to human health assessments.
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“The man who knows governments most completely is he who troubles himself least about a definition which shall give their essence. Enjoying an intimate acquaintance with all their particularities in turn, he would naturally regard an abstract conception in which these were unified as a thing more misleading than enlightening.”
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