Since 2004 ‘Model procedures for land contamination’, or CLR11, was the technical framework for dealing with contaminated land. Widely used by professional advisors such as developers and planners to ensure safe developments as well as regulators to assess sites under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act (1990).

As of the 08 October 2020, CLR11 has been withdrawn and replaced with the Environment Agency’s four-part HTML guide: Land contamination risk management (LCRM) inline with the latest gov.uk publishing formats.

In this short summary you will discover what LCRM replaced, how the new guidance is structured and some of the key differences we have identified.  

What does it replace?
CLR11 was first published in 2004 as a research document and was developed to provide a technical framework for applying risk management processes when dealing with contaminated land. The process involved identifying, making decisions on, and taking appropriate action to deal with land contamination.

In practice, CLR11 and its guiding principles had a huge uptake and became fundamental to assessing and dealing with contaminated land.

How is LCRM structured?
The new guidance follows a similar staged based approach to its predecessor.

There are 3 stages, and each stage is broken down into tiers or steps:

Stage 1: Risk assessment
You will use a tiered approach to risk assessment. The 3 tiers are:
1. Preliminary risk assessment.
2. Generic quantitative risk assessment.
3. Detailed quantitative risk assessment.
Stage 1 includes information for intrusive site investigations.

Stage 2: Options appraisal
There are 3 steps to follow.
1. Identify feasible remediation options.
2. Do a detailed evaluation of options.
3. Select the final remediation option.

Stage 3: Remediation and verification
There are 4 steps to follow.
1. Develop a remediation strategy.
2. Remediate.
3. Produce a verification report.
4. Do long term monitoring and maintenance, if required.

What are the key changes?
* Four-part HTML format accessed with gov.uk website enables quick access and navigation through the guidance.
* Simple, shorter structure which makes it accessible and understandable to the lay person as well as professionals in industry.
* Stage 1: Risk Assessment (Tier 1: Preliminary risk assessment) has adopted a new section to assess for potential Unexploded Ordnance.
* Emphasis on selecting the most feasible remediation strategy, aided by a new remediation matrix.  
Updated Resource Library: reference to technical criteria from British Standards, CIRIA, CL:AIRE etc. has been retained.
* Emphasis on adopting a sustainable approach throughout the process. This includes references to SURF-UK Framework for sustainable remediation.

Jake Hawkey, our Consultancy Manager states, “The new guidance has undoubtedly simplified CLR11 while keeping its principles, making the process more inclusive and accessible to a wider audience. It is refreshing to see less technical language and repetition, but retaining the technical references for competent professionals.”

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