There are many vital issues to consider prior to making any type of land or property aquisition,and environmental pollution plays a big part. In the very worst case,environmental contamination presents hazards,to users and or residents of the site. This is one of the reasons environmental risk reports are such an important aspect of due diligence for any land or property aquisition.
Types of environmental pollutants
There are several different kinds of environmental pollutants that can cause dangers to the people who occupy land. In many cases these are associated with previous industrial use of land,although this is not always the case as natural pollutants do also exist.
There are many types of contaminants,these contaminants can include dust or gas pollutants which can be inhaled or pollutants in soils which can be passed on to foods grown on the land and any grazing animals. Such contamination could also impact anyone working on the land.
Indirect contaminants can also damage buildings or leach out of the soil due to effects of groundwater or any river,stream or pond in the area. Some of these contaminants are corrosive or could even cause fires or explosions.
Examples of contaminants include:
– Lead or other heavy metals such as cadmium or arsenic
– Tar and oil
– Radioactive materials
– Chemical substances and solvents
You can find out more on the matter of contaminated land on the UK government website.
What isthe definition ofcontaminated land?
If you want to find out more about contaminated land or read technical guides on managing special sites on the website run by the Environment Agency.
The legal definition of ‘contaminated land’ relates to land which contains substances which can cause:
– Very significant damage to property,people or protected species
– Harm due to radioactivity
– Pollution to surface waters,such as lakes or rivers,or groundwater
In many cases the contamination has been caused by previous use of the land by:
– For mining
– Steel milling
– Landfill sites
Contaminated land can also fall into a ‘special sites’ category. These sites could:
– Cause serious effects to any drinking water,or surface or groundwater
– Previously have been used for activities like oil refining or the manufacture of explosives
– Have previously been regulated under permits relating to integrated pollution controls or prevention
– Previously have been used for disposal of acid tars
– Have been occupied or owned by the Ministry of Defence
– Previously been used in connection with the nuclear industry or be contaminated with radioactivity
What about brownfield sites?
It’s long been government policy to bring what’s termed brownfield land back into use in order to help preserve the greenfield sites and land within rural areas. This land regeneration often causes concerns,however. Most larger towns and cities contain areas and sites that are not in use and due to demand,development of these brownfield sites and derelict buildings is becoming increasingly common.
Very often minimal regulations were in place to monitor the re-use of brownfield sites or any potential environmental hazards thus presented. This is no longer the case,however, it has to be said most brownfield site developments are perfectly safe for residential use. But saying that,selling houses in these neighbourhoods can present some conveyancing problems,though.
If you have any concerns about environmental pollutants which could impact on your property purchase,give the experts at [dcl=7385] a call to discuss your worries.