Urban contaminated land

Authored by: Michael O. Rivett , Jonathan P. Sadler , Bob C. Barnes

The Routledge Handbook of Urban Ecology

Print publication date:  December  2010
Online publication date:  December  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415498135
eBook ISBN: 9780203839263
Adobe ISBN: 9781136883415


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Urban contaminated land is an international environmental problem. Decades of industrial activity with little environmental consideration have led to significant legacies of urban chemical contamination. The EA (Environment Agency for England and Wales) estimates that approximately 2 per cent of England and Wales (300,000 hectares) was affected by industrial activity and potentially contaminated (EA 2009). Although significant capability now exists to manage the problem, contaminated land remains an expensive, technically challenging proposition. Contaminated land management has been driven by the protection of human health and water resources (Rivett et al. 2002). Although ecological concerns about its conservation value (Gibson 1998) have not necessarily been ignored, it is only in quite recent times that they have figured more prominently in legislation and published guidance, for example the European Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EEC) and the EA guidance An Ecological Risk Assessment Framework for Contaminants in Soil (EA 2008a).

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