BS 10175: Contaminated Sites - Code of practice

Three Consultation Workshops on BS 10175 'Investigation of potentially contaminated sites - Code of practice' were held in 2010; in London 14 July; Solihull 18 Aug and Perth 24 Aug.

Prof K Clive Thompson writes: The management of contaminated land involves identifying risks arising from the presence of contaminants, in order that appropriate action can be taken before a site is developed. The risk assessment of a potentially contaminated site requires various detailed information in order to characterise the contamination status. This information is gathered by a process of site investigation as set out in the standard BS 10175:2001. There can be very severe subsequent adverse health, financial and legal repercussions if the site investigation is inadequate or scientifically flawed. The 2001 existing standard requires significant updating in order to keep up with the improved knowledge base in 2010. A contract was put out to tender for this task. ARUP made a successful submission and have produced an initial draft for public comment (DPC).

The three events were intended to present a background to the development of the revised and updated standard. Feedback was elicited from those attending the event in order to supplement the documented returns from the DPC stage of the standardisation process. Such feedback will form a vital step in the document development prior to publication.

Many individuals find the official BSi reporting template rather daunting, so these three meetings should ensure that any significant meeting concerns with the revised public draft of BS 10175 are relayed to BSi. A structured plenary debate was the main part of each event. There were three or four rapporteurs at each of the three events to record the key comments in the discussion. The suitably edited output from these discussions has been submitted as an input to the DPC on the commenting template. Also all delegates were strongly urged to send in their own comments on the official reporting template by the BSi deadline of 6 Sept 2010.

As few local authorities and no Environment Agency delegates attended the London initial meeting, the Solihull and Perth meetings were made free of charge to local government; Environment Agency and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) staff.

Over 170 delegates attended the three events and almost all delegates agreed that the DPC was a very significant improvement over the 2001 document. However, it was felt that the significant comments raised should be considered for inclusion in the final draft.

Prof K Clive Thompson is Chief Scientist at ALcontrol Laboratories

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