Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 came into force in April 2000. Commonly referred to as the Contaminated Land Regulations, this legislation provides a legal definition of contaminated land. It introduced a new legal framework for the identification and remediation of contaminated land.
The regulations place a duty on local authorities to inspect their area to identify contaminated land and ensure the person or organisation responsible for the contamination clean up.
Defining contaminated land
Part 2A provides a statutory definition of contaminated land although it should be noted that a site, which is considered to be contaminated land, would be subject to a robust scientific assessment prior to determination as contaminated land.
The statutory definition will not extend to all land where contamination is found to be present. The determining factor on whether a site will be considered as statutory contaminated land will be the degree of possible harm the contamination may cause on a site.