Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Staying on site

Brownfield clients see on-site remediation techniques as risky. Nearly two years ago a public-private initiative, CL: AIRE, was set up to vet new technologies and improve client confidence. Chief executive Paul Beck maps out progress to date.

On-site treatment of contaminated soils still accounts for only a fraction of all site remediation carried out in the UK. 'Dig and dump' - removal of contaminated material to licenced tips - is still developers' standard remediation technique.

Many insitu and exsitu treatments are still relatively unproven. Developers and investors are worried that expensive, potentially time consuming remediation will be ineffective, calling for off-site disposal anyway. Worse, they fear treatments will leave residual contamination. If, after development is completed, pollutants are found posing a threat to human health or the environment, a legal and financial nightmare will unfold.

Many of clients' anxieties about on-site remediation are unfounded, however. The public-private initiative, Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments, or CL: AIRE, is monitoring and verifying remediation technologies and research into the behaviour of contamination. When in future clients want to know if a technique will work or how effective site investigation and monitoring will be, they can draw on CL: AIRE data.

CL: AIRE has so far ratified seven demonstration projects - four technology demonstrations and three research projects.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.