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Contaminated land and extreme weather conditions

CIRIA and the Adaptation and Resilience in the Context of Change (ARCC) network, have devised this event to review how recent extreme weather conditions, in particular flooding, have affected the design and delivery of contaminated land projects in the UK. 
The event will explore the impact of extreme weather events on the mobility of contaminants, the effectiveness of remediation processes and risk management and how to make contaminated land remediation projects more ‘flood proof’ in the future. 


Ticket information
This event is free to attend but spaces are limited.

29 June 2015, 10.30am - 4.40pm (Registration from 10.00am)

The UK has an industrial legacy of land contamination with associated environmental, financial and legal implications. The remediation of contaminated land is an important stage of many UK construction projects.

The UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) provide projections of future changes to the climate in the UK to the end of this century. The projections predict an increase in both the frequency and severity of extreme weather events including an increase in high-intensity rainfall events which, combined with high tide or river levels, increases the risk of tidal, fluvial and pluvial flooding as well as groundwater flooding.

The Climate Change Act 2008 established a legal framework for action on climate change mitigation and adaption. Contaminated land is not specifically identified within the legislation and was not addressed in detail in the first Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) published in 2012. The CCRA refers briefly to contamination as a consequence of surface water (including sewer) flooding and to the release of pollutants caused by flooding of contaminated sites but not to the risks for the sector.

Flooding is an issue for the contaminated land sector not just because of the potential impacts on soil particle movement, greater loads of suspended contaminated solids within waters and leaching, but also because some mitigation measures, eg dredging of contaminated soil, may result in exposed contaminated soil that poses a risk and requires treatment. Intense rainfall events, which are expected to increase in frequency, can also result in delays and complications with the process of land remediation and the types of solutions appropriate dealing with contaminated land.  

The underpinning legislative basis for the responsibility and cleaning up of contaminated land lies within Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act and the planning regime in the UK. However, the evidence base for the types of, and extent of, impacts of our changing climate on the contaminated land sector is very narrow. This event attempts to address some of these emerging issues.  

The ARCC network, hosted at of the UK Climate Impacts Programme, has a strong track record in communicating information about climate change adaptation and in sharing knowledge from both research and practical experience to generate new knowledge and solutions for the built environment and infrastructure sectors.  

CIRIA has a strong track record in delivering sound and useful guidance to help the construction industry. CIRIA has produced over 40 outputs, including good practice guides, contaminated land reports and online training. Many of these, although have no legal status, are used as industry standards. CIRIA will continue to provide useful and relevant guidance to support the contaminated land sector.

This event will discuss ways that different stakeholders can identify and overcome the challenges that face the contaminated land industry. These include:
  • the implications and the significance of extreme climate conditions, particularly flooding, on contaminated land projects in the UK and worldwide,
  • how these events may affect: the mobility of the contaminants and the impacts to ground water; the effectiveness of certain remediation processes such as natural attenuation; and residue risk in cases where contaminants have been ‘capped’ and in effect are still in the ground;
  • how we could make remediation practice more ‘water proof’ in the future;
  • site and other practical issues encountered when dealing with extreme weather conditions; and
  • what the knowledge gaps are and what research is needed.
Who should attend?
  • Clients/developers
  • Consultants
  • Contractors
  • Insurance professionals
  • Legal professionals
  • Local authorities
  • Regulators
  • Research councils
  • Researchers
  • Trade organisations including British Expertise and UKTI
  • Waste management organsiations
This course has a value of 4.5 hours towards your CPD. Certificates will be sent to delegates following completion.

10.00-10.30  Registrations

10.30-10.45  Chairman’s introduction  

10.45-11.10  Contaminated land; hidden, forgotten or unknown with regard to our changing climate?
Briony Turner, ARCC, UKCIP and Joanne Kwan, CIRIA

11.10-11.30  A client’s point of view - what is the real impact?
Oliver Lancaster, Wales & West Utilities Ltd

11.30-11.50  A consultant’s point of view on flooding and contaminated land
Chris Meakin, Worleyparsons

11.50-12.20  Refreshments

12.20-12.40  A contactor’s point of view
Stephen Kidley, Celtic Ltd

12.40-13.00  A regulator’s point of view
Trevor Howard, EA

13.00-13.30  Panel discussion and questions

13.30-14.15  Lunch

14.15-15.15  Workshops
The aim is to explore the challenges and our knowledge gaps for the following issues:
  • Impact of rising ground water caused by flooding
  • Impact on the effectiveness of the chosen remediation process (including previous projects)
  • Practical issues e.g. impact on project programme and site health and safety
15.15-15.35  Refreshments
15.35-16.10  Reporting
16.10-16.40  The way forward and close

CIRIA, Griffin Court, 5 Long Lane EC1A 9PN

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If you are unable to book online, please contact Patrick Williams on 0207 549 33080207 549 3308 or return the booking form by post or fax.

6/29/2015 10:00 AM - 4:40 PM
GMT Daylight Time
CIRIA Griffin Court 15 Long Lane LONDON EC1A 9PN

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