The regulatory policy and guidance regime for the management of land contamination in England.
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Historic land contamination in England is managed primarily via a specific regulatory regime called “Part 2A” and via the planning system which governs land use across the country. The contaminated sites regime in England is mature stretching back to before the 1990s. The primary modus operandi is risk management to assess and determine appropriate actions for suspect contaminated sites. An environmental permitting regime regulates ongoing (and recent) industrial, waste management, and other processes with potential for environmental emissions. This may demand a more stringent basis for remediation given that current working processes should already be subject to effective environmental controls. A range of risk-based thresholds is used for making site determinations, in particular on whether a site is formally determined as “contaminated.” Although there is no formal national inventory, information on contaminated sites is generally available. Moreover, there is a wide range of institutions actively engaged in managing problems of land contamination and a substantial offering of technical guidance and supporting publications.