The need to assess the significance of contaminated lands typically arises in the context of proposals to either acquire or develop sites where current or historic activities had the potential to cause environmental pollution. The primary concern being the risk presented by any environmental pollution and the risk to both the health and safety of construction workers, neighbours and future occupants.

Contaminated land assessment may also be required at facilities regulated by Local Authorities or the Environmental Protection Agency under permit or license requirements.

To address these concerns an environmental site assessment is required to establish the environmental conditions and identify appropriate measures to address any environmental liabilities. The scope typically involves developing a site history to identify the potential for historical activities to have caused an impact, a site inspection, and an area reconnaissance to identify potential sensitive receptors or other activities that could impinge on the site. Based on this a proposed investigation programme is prepared.

Each programme is site specific but may include installation of trial pits and boreholes, collection and analysis of soil and groundwater samples, and ground gas survey. Where possible at redevelopment sites the environmental investigation is combined with geotechnical investigations to minimise costs.

Contaminated Land Assessment Photo

The investigation findings are evaluated in the context of site specific conditions and relevant guidelines that used by the regulatory authorities. Depending on the site conditions a quantitative risk assessment may be require to evaluate the risk to both the environment and health and safety of workers and long term users of the site. The risk assessment will identify measures required to avoid or minimise risk that can be incorporated into the development design.

Since its establishment OCM has completed over six hundred contaminated land environmental assessments throughout Ireland and the UK. OCM's environmental assessment capability is based on its comprehensive range of environmental management services, extensive project management experience and the skill sets of its staff who include geologists, hydrogeologists and environmental scientists.