Changes to the Environment Agency’s contaminated land guidance

On 5 June 2019, the Environment Agency (“EA”) has published an update to its Model procedures for the management of land contamination (CLR11) guidance in an attempt to shorten and simplify the existing guide. The new guidance issued by the EA is based on the principles of CLR11 and states that the scope, framework and purpose of the new guidance remains the same as CLR11.

The guidance in CLR11 started life as a research document in the mid 2000’s and was quickly used as the go-to guide for managing contaminated land risks. Since it was first published, the guidance in CLR11 has not been updated and therefore it is hoped that the new guidance will improve the existing guidance.

The new guidance appears to explain the remediation process in a more accessible manner and looks to develop and produce a single remediation strategy as opposed to setting out the stages outlined in CLR11.

As part of the new guidance, the technical language and terminology used has been updated and explained so that it is more accessible to the public and professionals. Additionally, the guidance appears to be shorter and easier to understand with a focus on the user and the “next steps” information appears to be much clearer.

The EA is seeking feedback in relation to the guide and in particular in relation to the structure and technical content. The EA states it will review the feedback it receives and amend the guide as appropriate. After 6 months’ the EA will withdraw CLR11 to avoid confusion as to which guide is to be used.

The new guidance can be found at:

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