The contaminated land regime implements the provisions of Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, through the Contaminated Land (Scotland) Regulations 2000 and 2005. It provides a statutory definition of contaminated land and gives local authorities a number of duties and powers with respect to the inspection, identification and remediation of such land within their area. Land may be identified as contaminated land if the current use results in unacceptable levels of risk to human health, property and protected environments.
The statutory definition of "Contaminated Land" is defined at section 78A(2) as of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, as
"any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land, that -
(a) significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or
(b) significant pollution of the water environment is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such pollution being caused;"
This definition is very specific in that it only seeks to identify those sites which in their current use give rise to serious risk to human health or the environment, rather than all land subject to contamination. In assessing this risk the definition of contaminated land relies on the concept of pollution linkage; linkage between a contaminant source and a receptor by means of a pathway.
The Contaminated Land Statutory Guidance: Edition 2 requires that Local Authorities take a Strategic Approach to Inspection. Please use this link to download a copy of The Highland Council’s Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy (PDF 290kb), reviewed and updated for 2009. The original Strategy, published in October 2001, can be downloaded by clicking here (PDF 508kb).
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