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Phased Environmental Reports

Chelmer understands the necessity for building on Brownfield sites across the country, due to high demands for additional housing and a moral responsibility to clean up historically developed land. The regulatory authorities often place conditions upon such developments, which require investigation into the potential of land contamination.

The below brief guide explains the phased procedure which is often required by the regulatory authorities, with a short description of each stage.

Phase 1 – Desk Study

  • A desk study is a review of a site and its surroundings. It determines past and current usage and assesses the potential impact on the proposed development, the local environment and its future users.
  • A site ‘walkover survey’ is undertaken by a geo-environmental consultant/specialist to assess the site.
  • Geological, mining assessments, flood assessment and UXO risk can also be identified, amongst others.
  • Includes the development of a Conceptual Model and a Qualitative Risk assessment in accordance with regulatory authorities recognised best practices.

Phase 2 – Intrusive Investigation

  • An intrusive investigation scope of works is based on the information obtained from the Phase 1 Desk Study and implemented following approval by the regulatory authority.
  • Targets any current or former features of importance.
  • Incorporates various investigative methods, e.g. boreholes, trial pits, groundwater sampling, gas monitoing, waste acceptance critiera (WAC) testing
  • Laboratory testing of soil and groundwater samples used to assess any contamination.
  • An Interpretative Report is produced, summarising the works undertaken, assessing any potential risks, quantitative assessment and providing geo-environmental recommendations.

Phase 3a – Remediation Strategy

  • The Remediation Strategy is based in the findings and recommendations presented in Phases 1 and 2 above.
  • This document states the actions required to render a site fit for the proposed end use.
  • The Remediation Strategy may incorporate items such as the design of cover layers in gardens, the removal of old storage tanks and the installation of ground gas protection measures.

Phase 3b – Remediation Verification Report (RVR)

  • CSI performs the role of independent specialist, presenting the RVR to the regulatory authority.
  • Validation testing is undertaken which provides the basis for the Verification Report.
  • The RVR documents all the works undertaken during the site preparation process and provides confirmation that the agreed actions presented in Phase 3a have been undertaken.
  • Once the RVR has been accepted by the relevant authorities, the approval process is complete, allowing the developer to sell the new dwellings with the relevant industry insurances and planning conditions granted.

Chemical Interpretive Report

A Chemical Interpretive Report can be undertaken at sites where contamination sampling has been taken and tested and can also include the results of gas and water monitoring. These reports tend to be for use on sites where human health risk assessment is often the concern and more often than not, on sites where the primary concern will be contractors and/or ground workers coming into direct contact with the soils underlying the site. We do also consider very closely the proposed end usage of the site and its receptors.

We find that it is more common for regulatory bodies to require a full phased approach to environmental issues.

This report can be combined with a Geotechnical Interpretive Report should they both be required.

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