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A guide for managing changing climate and contaminated land projects (P3266)

Extreme events, including storms, droughts, and wildfires, can lead to direct damage and associated business interruption as well as indirect effects from for example mobilisation of contaminants due to coastal storm surges, flooding by surface water or rising groundwater, redeposition of contaminated sediment as floodwaters retreat, erosion of containment bunds or coastal landfills. Changes in temperature, soil moisture and dust release could change the physico-chemical properties of contaminants, compromising quantitative risk assessments and altering the effectiveness of remediation approaches such as bioremediation, or the use of clay capping.

There is an urgent need for the industry to pay more attention to assessing and managing climate change related risks in contaminated land projects, as well as looking for opportunities to be part of the adaptation solution. Sustainable remediation needs to be climate resilient and to become the new normal. 

Project objectives

  • Identify the types of potential extreme climate hazards that may affect contaminated land projects in the UK
  • Identify how extreme weather events should be incorporated into the Conceptual Site Model (CSM)
  • Establish how current human health, controlled water, property and ecological risk assessment should be modified and how to plan and implement resilient and sustainable remediation 
  • Provide good practice examples to ensure site work can be planned and delivered so that it better withstands extreme climate incidents 
  • Establish how remediation options appraisal, implementation and verification need to accommodate extreme weather events
  • Raise awareness of practitioners, regulators, and others on how brownfield redevelopment projects can be more ‘weatherproof’

Project status

This project is currently seeking technical and financial support.

Further information
For further information or to get involved with this project please contact Joanne Kwan.

Project proposal
(Adobe PDF File)