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Contamination and Remediation - Essay Example

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Brownfield refers to 'Previously Developed Land', which could have been used for industrial or commercial purposes in the past. This term was derived from 'Greenfield' which refers to a previously unused land. Generally, Brownfields are sites where reuse or development is restricted due to presence of an inordinate amount of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants…
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Contamination and Remediation
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Contamination and Remediation

Download file to see previous pages... These can prove to liabilities to the owners, since the least amount of detection in contamination can result in problems with selling the site, obtaining financing, or planning reuse. The revitalization of Brownfields provides several environmental, economic and community benefits. It revives the land, which was rendered unproductive by the contamination. It facilitates redevelopment of the site and hence engenders the growth in the economy by creating jobs.
The process of determining the levels of contamination at any Brownfield site plays a very important role. This ensures that we have a corresponding redevelopment or remediation strategy mapped out. In this research, we conduct an in-depth study on Brownfield development from an engineering view point by developing a methodology geared towards contaminant assessment and remediation. Finally we shall critically evaluate the application results of this methodology on a case study and draw inferences.
Contaminants pose serious risk to the environment. In a Brownfield, some of contaminants include agricultural waste, industrial waste, pesticides, heavy metals (e.g. lead, mercury), soil-acidifying agents (e.g. sulphur), salts and petroleum hydrocarbons. Considering the case where redevelopment of Brownfield will provide site access to the public, the presence of such contaminants could have a serious effect on the public health. Hence a systematic procedure needs to be adopted towards assessing the various contaminants present at the site. Based on the past history of any site, the contaminants and their composition levels have a unique relation. There are various factors that cause contamination. Some of these point to industrial uses in the past, mining activity, careless waste dumping, leveling of sites using contaminated fillsetc. These careless activities could be seen as a result of fewer restrictions imposed on the industries. The sites which have such a past history of activities include former factories, refineries, storage depots, service stations, engine works, gas works, power stations, railway yards, and landfills. Figure1 shows the land contamination caused by an oil depot fire.
Considering the lack of available sites especially in the urban sector for new industries and various enterprises, attention is diverted towards Brownfields. A new legislation (Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990) was introduced in April 2000 requiring all local authorities to assess their areas for potentially contaminated land and to take concrete remediation steps. This was the first concrete step taken by the government to address the Brownfields. To counter the real or perceived threat posed by these sites, certain assessments procedures need to be followed to grasp the ground reality. This demands an intensive research into the mechanics of the soil to determine the contamination levels. This comprises the first part of our methodology geared towards Brownfi ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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