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UK Environmental Law - Land

The National Waste Strategy is designed to replace plans under the Environmental Act 1995 and requires the government to produce plans for waste management in line with EU directives.

The strategy has three key objectives: to reduce the amount of waste that society produces; to make the best use of the waste that is produced; and to choose waste management practices which minimise the risks to health or the environment.

The mechanism for achieving these is waste hierarchy of reduction, re-use, recovery, and disposal.

Under the Environmental Act 1995, contaminated land is land to which significant harm is being done or could be done, or which may cause pollution of controlled waters.

Local authorities have to decide these areas, with due regard to guidance issued by the EA. The guidance proposes limits on the definition of contaminated land and significant harm. It sets out a risk assessment based on different levels of risk for different sorts of human health.

The EA will play an active role in the clean-up of the most contaminated sites - known as Special Sites.

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2002 Edition