• Rebecca Nolan

Small-scale remediation schemes exempt from permits

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

RPS applies to site-specific pilot trials designed to discover if an established remediation technique will work on small-scale schemes.


Certain contaminated land cleanup projects that involve the treatment of waste for recovery will not need a permit, following the review by Environment Agency (EA) regulatory position statement (RPS) 215.

The RPS applies to "site-specific pilot trials designed to discover if an established remediation technique will work on small-scale remediation schemes. It was issued in August last year.

Under the document applicable projects do not need to apply for an environmental permit if certain conditions are met. The exemption applies established techniques, such as air sparging, chemical treatment, soil washing and steam injection.


The volume of soil and groundwater involved must not exceed 1,000 cubic metres. The exemption may only be used once in a three-year period per site. There must be a method statement, and records maintained for six years and the activity must be completed within six months.


The EA’s local groundwater and contaminated land team must also be notified in writing at least five working before commencement.


The EA said the revised document will be reviewed in three years time. An RPS means that the EA will not normally take enforcement action against an operator who does not have an environmental permit for a waste operation, provided the activity meets the description set out in the RPS and is not likely to cause environmental pollution or harm human health.

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