DEFRA have announced that the Contaminated Land Capital Grants Programme is closing.
This programme helps the Environment Agency and local authorities in England cover the capital costs of investigating and cleaning up contaminated land under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Defra funds the work and previously managed the programme with technical input from the EA.
On 09 December 2013, Lord de Mauley, Parliamentary Under Secretary at Defra, announced the programme is closing at the end of the 2013/14 financial year. For a 3-year period from 1 April 2014 Defra anticipate that up to £0.5m could still be made accessible annually (subject to capital funding being available within Defra) for absolute emergency cases and to meet the requirements of on-going remediation projects where these are considered to be the highest priority. Funding will stop entirely from 1 April 2017.
Defra have written to all local authorities in England explaining this decision.
This is a dissapointing development arising through more budgetary cuts from central government and leaves Local Authorities in a difficult position when assessing and prioritising health risks from potentially contaminated land within their Borough. The outcome of this will almost certainly ensure that contaminated sites will now only be taken forward for assessment and remediation through the planning system where land is being re-used and has value, and the mechanism for remediation will be through the National Planning Policy Framework, rather then Part 2A.
A sign of the times but nevertheless still disappointing.
CL:AIRE has published figure demonstrating that since 2009, 813 Definition of Waste:Development Agency Code of Practice (DoWCoP) declarations have been received by the Environment Agency (EA).
The Code of Practice (COP) aims to reduce the regulatory burden on redevelopment sites by providing a framework for managing materials for re-use, without requiring wastes management permitting or exemptions to be in place. The outcome of this is more sustainable site development, and less material going to landfill as waste.
The COP covers material generated on a site that is to be re-used. For example, managing cut and fill materials from an earthworks balance, the direct transfer of material from a donor site to a receiving site, e.g where subsoil and clay is being excavated to achieve development levels and is no longer required for its site of origin, so it is transferred to another site where there is a material shortfall for earthworks/bunds etc, and for cluster projects where a treatment centre is established and receives wastes from various sites for treatment and then re-use.
The main document supporting this process is the Materials Management Plan (MMP). This is established by a relevant party such as a contractor or consultant involved on the redevelopment project, and the MMP is then signed off by a Qualified Person, who then completes the documentation to register the scheme with the EA.
The MMP identifies the routes by which material will be sourced and re-used, and it provides all relevant info such as specifications for the works, drawings and cross sections. It must document volumes to be produced/re-used, and it must be clear that the process is re-using materials where there is a predefined need, rather than being a vehicle for losing material to avoid paying landfill tax/fee’s.
Upon completion of the works, a Validation report is prepared which documents how the work has been completed in accordance with the aims of the MMP, and the final volumes used on site.
CL:AIRE estimates that upwards of 18 million m3 of material has already been diverted from landfill using this framework.
If you have a redevelopment scheme that could benefit from this approach, and would like to find out more information, you can contact us here at DBS, or, you can find more information on the CL:AIRE website – http://www.claire.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=210&Itemid=82
DBS can provide Qualified Person services for project audit, EA declarations and the preparation of Validation Reports.