A Phase 1 Contaminated Land Report is a literature-based review designed to give an overview of the risk of land or groundwater contamination to end-users (house occupiers or workers) and the immediate environment.
A Phase 1 Study collates relevant information from a variety of sources relating to the setting of the site and its previous historical uses. The end product is an interpretive report that contains a qualitative risk assessment, including a conceptual site model that describes the potentially significant sources of contamination, receptors and pathways.
The study involves multiple sources of information often including Ordnance Survey maps, geological and groundwater vulnerability maps, aerial photographs, local and national archives, and newspapers and registers held by relevant regulatory agencies. A site walkover (land investigation) may be required to support the collated desk-based information, to provide details of the current condition of the site, and to gather evidence of potential contamination. When a site walkover is requested, Envirep will generally conduct the walkover following the initial desk study to ensure a ‘best value’ approach in meeting regulations and individual report needs.
A Phase 1 Study collates relevant information from a variety of sources relating to the site setting and its previous historical uses. The end product is an interpretive report that describes the likely presence of any contamination within the subsurface, and the potential risks that this may pose to future site users and the immediate environment. A site walkover may be required to support the desk study information and to provide greater certainty in the report findings.
The original polluter of the land is officially the person or organisation responsible for any liabilities relating to land contamination. As the pollution may have occurred decades earlier, potentially prior to legislation, this person or organisation may never be found and it is therefore the new owner who will be responsible. It is essential that the person responsible for undertaking the property purchase or development, and their legal advisor, understands the degree of risks and potential financial implications.
Each local authority has a general responsibility for identifying and deciding on necessary actions in relation to contaminated land in its area. Land can potentially be sold when contaminated and the responsibility may end up being passed onto the new owner, or indeed a bank or mortgage lender if the new purchaser was to default. In summary, professional advice should always be sought prior to purchase on any previously developed land.
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