As our cities become more crowded, an increasing number of properties are being erected on brownfield sites that were once home to industry, commercial operations or even simply used for rubbish landfill. Building on these sites makes good use of land that would otherwise lay idle, but it does come with greater risks than using a greenfield site.
With land that has never been used for building you can usually simply arrive on the land and start digging. With brownfield sites you often have to clean the land before you can start work. Conducting environmental assessments on brownfield sites can reveal whether there is any land contamination that needs to be dealt with to ensure the site is safe for those who will live and work there.
What causes land contamination?
There are many factors that could contaminate land. It could be the prior use of the site for heavy industry, or it could be as a result of dumping while the land was lying dormant. Contamination could even have entered the soil as a result of activity on a neighbouring site. Whatever the cause, it is essential that you deal with the contamination before you begin to build. The best way to do this is to conduct an environmental assessment to find out how bad the problem is and what can be done to resolve the situation.
What can environmental assessments tell you?
The first thing you will want to know from your assessment is exactly what type of land contamination you are dealing with. From that point, the assessment will need to look at the potential risks posed by the contamination, what remediation may be possible and whether there will be any ongoing sampling or monitoring required.
How are assessments conducted?
When you call in someone to conduct an environmental assessment they will start with a historical review of the land to determine ways in which the land has been used and which uses might have resulted in contamination. Once the review is complete they will collect samples from the site to determine if any suspected land contamination is actually present and how bad it might be.
Don't put your development at risk by ignoring potential land contamination. Arrange for an environmental assessment today and deal with the issue properly before it causes serious health issues for your workers and anyone who will use the site in the future.