Many areas of land in the UK have been contaminated by past industrial and other human activities, including former factories, mines, storage depots, steelworks, refineries and landfills. Land at these sites could be contaminated by harmful substances such as oils and tars, heavy metals, asbestos and chemicals.
Land contamination may also be caused by current operations or accidental releases of substances to the environment.
Understanding the condition of your land and preventing new land contamination are important. If you own land that is affected by contamination, or cause or allow land to be contaminated, you could be responsible for any harm or pollution it causes as well as the cost of cleaning it up.
This guide explains how you can prevent land contamination and how you could be responsible for cleaning up land contamination.
In this guide
- What is land contamination
- Responsibilities for land contamination
- Preventing land contamination
- Environmental damage caused by land contamination
- Cleaning up contaminated land
- Buying land affected by contamination
- Insuring against the risk of land contamination
- Contaminated land environmental legislation