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contamination plume in the UK. The concept of polluter these recent projects was the need for high quality
pays was upheld and both the polluter and the developer, verification by well-qualified professionals.
who allowed pollution to continue, were apportioned a
Applying this concept to the remediation sector is not
percentage of cost of the liability. Although the bromate is
new. In the USA the first Licensed Site Professionals
not reported to have caused any impact on the health of
(LSPs), experienced in the field of hazardous waste site
the residents of the site, the whole Part 2A process has
assessment, cleanup and removal, was established in
undoubtedly had an effect on the site occupants as the
Massachusetts in 1993 and schemes have continued to
case has dragged on over a period of nine years.
develop. The latest in New Jersey in 2009 is for a Licensed
It is over 10 years ago since the Corby works were Site Remediation Professional (LSRP), who has the
completed, but this is still a wake up call to the industry appropriate qualifications, experience and completed
regarding the potential consequences of their actions; training covering regulations concerning technical
and a reminder to regulators of the importance of ensuring requirements. The LSRP has the responsibility for oversight
that robust pollution controls are put in place. These of investigation and cleanup, with the specific aim that
events have highlighted the need for, and importance of, projects are completed quicker but delivered in a safe and
experienced professionals (whether within public or private robust manner to address the Sates contaminated land
sector organisations) who have demonstrable expertise legacy. There are of course ‘checks and balances’ in place
and who can offer authoritative advice to help deliver safe and a Strict Code of ethics, the violation of which results
and exacting solutions. The Specialist in Land Condition in penalties as well as revoking the licence to operate.
(SiLC) registration scheme has the capability to meet There are clearly parallels between the LSRP criteria and
these aims as it brings together professionals from a the SiLC registration scheme, not least the strong ethical
broad background advising on land condition matters code of conduct by which all SiLCs must abide.
and its status demonstrates a high degree of experience,
However, such schemes are not restricted to the USA.
competence and skill amongst the profession.
Australia has a well established ‘Environmental Auditor’
Although the site assessment and remediation market is (for contaminated land) model, and there are schemes
mature in the UK, there remains no mandatory registration throughout Europe; Flanders have an accreditation
scheme for professionals working in the sector. Clients scheme established since 1995, and even in small
should perhaps be demanding more of their professional provinces such as the Basque region, professionals have
advisors; regulators should start requiring authors and to be accredited to investigate sites, undertake risk
reviewers of reports to hold minimum professional status. assessment and deliver remedial solutions.
After all, we expect a range of trades people to be
As such, there is a role for many professionals, clients
registered with approved schemes, chartered status is a
and regulators working in this sector to ensure higher
prerequisite for providing certain services by accountants,
quality standards are delivered and this can be achieved
surveyors and engineers and there are many other
by actively supporting the SiLC scheme which has the
professions where individuals have to be licensed to operate.
capability to deliver these aims.
The Corby remediation was essentially a large scale
Further details can be found at
earthworks project where contaminated soils were
excavated and transported to a nearby purpose-built
landfill. Over the last few years, the UK has seen a sub-
stantial shift away from landfill towards on site treatment
solutions, and these bring together complex science and
engineering to transform or extract contaminants from
soil and groundwater. These projects need skilled
professionals to design, manage and verify the outcomes,
and provide both regulators and the public with confidence
in the re-use of the finished site.
Industry is undoubtedly rising to the challenge of innovation
in site assessment and remediation. The development of
the Gas Clam to provide continuous recorded readings of
soil gas is likely to transform the assessment and charac-
terisation of gassing sites. Smoke and tracer gas testing
is being used more frequently to verify that gas-resistant
membranes are fully sealed and effective. The treatment
of DNAPL to depths of 18 metres on one site has brought
together a combination of surfactant flushing, emulsified
vegetable oil (EVO) injection and a barrier using zero valent
iron. Over 9 tonnes of product was removed from the
A three dimensional visualisation of a DNAPL plume
ground in this riverside site. A common feature of all
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