Northern Forum Summer Conference

DBS attended the joint northern forum summer conference yesterday at The Norcroft Centre, University of Bradford.  The conference brings together the North East Contaminated Land Forum, the Yorkshire Contaminated Land Forum and the North West Brownfield Regeneration Forum.

There were a range of speakers in attendance, with the event focusing on Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act1990  and the recently updated Statutory Guidance for England.  

The new statutory guidance introduces four categories into which a potentially contaminated site can be placed by the LPA.  Andrew Wiseman of Stephenson Harwood LLP spoke about the work of the new DEFRA expert panel that has been set up to advise and provide a sounding board to LPA’s on site designation and Part 2A, in particular where a site sits on the Category 2/3 boderline.  Another legal speaker, Helen Peters of Pincent Masons, provided a useful summary of the overview of environmental legislation as it stands, and a practioners viewpoint of dealing with the myriad of issues around identifying an appropriate person in the context of Part 2A, and how Part 2A sits with other environmental legislation such as the Environmental Permitting Regs 2010, the Environmental Damage Regs 2009, the Water Resources Act 1991 and Common Law (Rylands v Fletcher).

The final talk was presented by Carol Morgan, Environmental Health manager of Bradford MDC.  Carol discussed the Rat, and the risk of public health risk when displacing them through site development!  Not something we have considered before but Carol spoke of several projects where significant rat problems were caused in the greater site area when sites once dormant were disturbed, and presented the startling figure that disease from rats has killed more humans than all wars combined!  Serious subject but a light hearted presentation to end the day on.

As always, it is good to see how well attended these events are, as they help to keep contaminated land professionals the north of England abreast of the latest developments and understanding in the field, and provide a great networking experience, as they are attended by academics, consultants, industry and other related environmental professionals.

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