M A Smith

Environmental 

Consultancy

Projects









 

 

Investigation of contaminated land for risk assessment

Guidance on the application of Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990

FAO Soils Bulletin: Management of polluted and other degraded soils

Assessment and management of risks to buildings, building materials and services from land contamination

Advice to local authority on planning applications

Support for major engineering consultancy

Guidance on the application of Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990

Contribution to the Local Authority Guide to the Application of Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as part of a consortium led by Monitor Environmental Consultants Ltd. (part of the Casella Group). Other members of the consortium were:

    Centre for Environmental Research and Training (Birmingham University)

    Denton Wilde Sapte

    Judith Lowe.

The project steering group included representatives of DETR/DEFRA, CIEH, LGA and the Environment Agency.

The guide, which was published in July 2001, is available for downloading* from the websites of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Local Government Association.

* A revised version was produced by others in 2007/8. This in turn has been renedered out of date by the pubglication of revised Stautory Guidance in 2012.

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FAO Soils Bulletin: Management of polluted and other degraded soils

The Bulletin, which has been prepared for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, deals with the management of contaminated, polluted and degraded soils for use in agriculture and horticulture etc. Contamination is taken to be the presence of potentially harmful substances of agents as a result of human activity; pollution as the condition when potentiaaly harmful substances or other agents introduced as a result of human activity are present in sufficient quantity to cause harm; and degradation as any process, including pollution, causing harm to any property or function of a soil. It thus includes, for example,  loss of soil physical structure due to compaction and destruction of soil profiles during surface mining.

The final draft was submitted to FAO in April 2001 but remains unpublished in 2012 laregley because of the failure of other parties to deliver their contributions.

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Support to East Northampstonshire Council

Support has been provided to the Environmental Health Department of ENC for a number of years on the contamination aspects of planning applications. The support includes review of reports submitted in support of planning applications, discussions of investigation results and proposals for remediation with applicants and advice to ENC on possible appropriate responses.

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Procedure for assessment and management of risks to buildings, building materials and services from land contamination

This project has been concerned with the production of guidance related to the assessment and management of risks to building, building materials and services from land contamination.  It has been undertaken by the Building Research Establishment in collaboration with M A Smith Environmental Consultancy and Monitor Environmental Consultants. The objectives of the project were as follows:

  • To produce a R&D Technical Report reviewing available guidance on assessing and managing risks to buildings from land contamination.

  • To produce a practical, authoritative and useable guidance document on how risks to buildings, building materials and services should be assessed and the subsequent selection and implementation of the appropriate risk management action which is required to manage the identified risks when considering land contamination.

The Technical Report has been produced as a literature review of the risks to buildings incorporating risks to existing and new buildings from aggressive soils, expansive slag, combustible fill and unstable fill (the four principal hazards) [1].  The report provides information that can be used in the assessment and management of risks to buildings, building materials and services (BBM&S).  It is based on available technical information in the literature and as well as providing technical information provides an essential source of reference papers for further reading.

A technical guidance document on the assessment and management of risks to BBM&S has also been produced [2].  It is different from the literature review in that it guides assessors of contaminated land through a process for assessment and management of risks to BBM&S from four principal hazards of aggressive soils, unstable fill, combustible fill and expansive slags.  It contains technical details on issues specific to BBM&S whilst recognising that assessment and management will often be included within general contaminated land risk assessment and management. 

The guidance document is the first to cover BBM&S to be produced in the United Kingdom and will provide a valuable source of reference and guidance for those involved in assessing and managing risks to BBM&S.  This includes Environment Agency staff, consultants, contractors, developers, local authorities and development agencies.  It was decided to produce a guidance document as opposed to a secondary model procedure as the procedural side is much the same as that detailed within the main Model Procedures.  It was therefore only necessary to consider the distinctive technical issues concerned with BBM&S.

Risks of Contaminated Land to Buildings, Building Materials and Services. S Garvin, R Hartless, M Smith, S Manchester & P Tedd, Environment Agency Technical Report P331 (WRc, Swindon, 2000).

Assessment and Management of Risks to Buildings, Building Materials and Services, R&D Technical Report, P5 035/TR/01,  Environment Agency, 2001.

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Support to Buro Happold

Support was provided to the ground engineering section of this major engineering consultancy for a number of years. In addition to advising on all aspects of investigations and assessments relating to contaminated land on a project-by-project basis, the intention was to help to build up Buro Happold's own expertise on contaminated land.

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