Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1995 came into force in Scotland on 14 July 2000 and introduced a new regulatory role for local authorities, aimed at controlling threats to health and the environment from land contamination. This requires every local authority in Scotland to inspect land in its area for contamination.
The main local authority responsibilities under the Act are as follows:
- to adopt and publish a strategy for the identification of contaminated land within its area by 14th October 2001.
- to inspect its area to identify statutorily defined contaminated land (Appendix III).
- to determine whether any particular site is contaminated land and where appropriate, designate it as a "Special Site".
- act as the enforcing authority for sites identified as contaminated land which are not designated as Special Sites (SEPA will act as enforcing authority for Special Sites).
- establish who should bear responsibility for the remediation of sites determined as contaminated land.
- decide on remediation measures required and ensure that such remediation is undertaken, either by agreement or where necessary by serving a remediation notice. Under certain circumstances it may be necessary for the Comhairle to carry out the remediation works itself.
- apportionment of costs of works either subject to notice, or carried out by the Comhairle, depending on liability.
- to record certain prescribed information about their regulatory actions on a public register.
Comhairle nan Eilean has adopted a Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy detailing how the Comhairle will carry out this inspection duty.
For queries regarding contamination of the water environment contact the local Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).