Contaminated land is land that has been polluted by substances such as chemicals, gases, oil or asbestos, and poses a significant threat to:

  • people or animals

  • waters (rivers, lakes and groundwater)

  • ecosystems

  • property.

Our role

Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a number of requirements on us. These include:

  • carrying out inspections to identify contaminated land

  • determining if land is contaminated land

  • acting as the enforcing authority for contaminated land that is not designated as a ‘special site’

  • determining who is responsible for the remediation of contaminated land

  • deciding what remediation is required and making sure that it is carried out

  • establishing who is responsible for paying the cost of the remediation work

  • keeping a public register about our regulatory activity.

Further information on our role and responsibilities can be found in our Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy.

The public register is available to view online or at Pathfinder House, Huntingdon.

The role of the Environment Agency

The Environment Agency is responsible for:

  • helping us identify contaminated land, particularly in cases where water pollution is involved
  • in exceptional circumstances, providing us with site specific guidance on contaminated land and the remediation of contaminated land
  • acting as the enforcing authority for any land designated by us as a special site 
  • preparing reports for DEFRA on contaminated land.

You can find more information on contaminated land on the Environment Agency’s website.