Making remediation more sustainable – even if it means rethinking risk assessment

06 August 2010

As the contaminated land sector matures - along with the technologies that make remediation possible - it is also beginning to evolve, with sustainability and issues such as climate change impacts increasingly exercising the experts.

The journey towards a truly sustainable remediation industry is just beginning in the UK, where dig and dump is finally becoming uneconomic due to the ever-rising landfill tax, from which contaminated soils are no longer exempt.This means in situ treatment techniques are coming to the fore, offering opportunities to green up equipment and minimize emissions from trucks as movement of materials is reduced.

However, for John Waters, ERM’s Commercial Director and Head of Contaminated Site Management for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, it’s going to take a lot more than wind turbines on groundwater pumps to make land remediation truly sustainable. This includes sparking a debate on our whole approach to risk assessment, the “heretical discussion”about moving away from a focus purely on the contamination in the ground, towards a more holistic appraisal of a site’s condition and the best way to bring it back into beneficial use.

Read the full article which first appeared in Contaminated Land Bulletin  (pdf 61kb)

"Having the heretical debate"

CLB talks to John Waters, ERM’s commercial director and head of contaminated site management for EMEA, about making remediation more sustainable – even if it means rethinking risk assessment.