Appendix A

Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy
Appendix A: Glossary of Terms

Agenda 21 See Local Agenda 21.

Appropriate person(s) An appropriate person is any person who is, determined in accordance with section 78F of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to bear responsibility for any thing which is to be done by way of remediation.

Aquifer A permeable geological stratum or formation that is capable of both storing and transmitting water in significant amounts. Usually described by the following terms:

a)     Major – highly permeable formations usually with a known or probable presence of significant fracturing. They may be highly productive and able to support large abstractions for public water supply and other purposes.

b)     Minor – variably permeable, these can be fractured or potentially fractured rocks, which do not have a high primary permeability, or other formations of variable permeability including unconsolidated deposits. Though not producing large quantities of water for abstraction, they are important for local supplies and in supplying base flow to rivers.

c)      Non-aquifer – negligibly permeable formations which are generally regarded as containing insignificant quantities of groundwater. However, groundwater flow through such rocks, although imperceptible, does take place and needs to be considered in assessing the risk associated with persistent pollutants.

Brownfield sites Sites which have previously undergone development and which therefore, require a level of remediation prior to redevelopment. A full formal definition of previously developed land is given in Planning Policy Guidance Note No. 3: Housing (PPG 3), a copy of which can be viewed on the Internet at

CLEA Contaminated Land and Exposure Assessment, a methodology for carrying out a risk assessment.

CON.29 A standard form of enquiry during property transactions made in respect of property and land condition details that may be held on record by a local authority.

Contaminant(s) A substance which is in, on or under the land and which has the potential to cause harm or to cause pollution to controlled waters.

Contamination-related conditions Conditions placed on the granting of planning permission which ensure the removal of the link between contaminant(s) and humans or the environment, either by the removal of the contaminant(s) or by use of barriers.

Controlled waters Controlled waters are defined in section 78A(9) of EPA 1990 by referencing Part III (section 104) of the Water Resources Act 1991. The definition covers:

a)     Inland waters (river, streams, underground streams, canals, lakes and reservoirs)

b)     Groundwater (any water contained in underground strata, wells or boreholes)

c)      Territorial waters (the sea within three miles of a baseline)

d)     Coastal waters (the sea within the baseline up to the line of highest tide, and tidal waters up to the fresh water limit)

Council/The Council Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) Council

Customer Charter 2001-2002 Available from the Council website.

Earth Summit United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.

Enforcement Concordat An agreed framework published by the Cabinet Office to ensure open, fair and consistent enforcement of legislation.

Geographical Information System (GIS) A data-handling and analysis computer system based on sets of data distributed spatially in two dimensions. The data sets may be map-oriented or image-oriented.

Greenfield sites Sites which have not previously undergone development.

Groundwater Any water contained in underground strata, wells or boreholes.

Harm Defined in section 78A(4) as: “harm to the health of living organisms or other interference with the ecological systems of which they form part and ,in the case of man, includes harm to his property.”

Listed buildings Buildings placed on statutory lists of buildings of 'special architectural or historic interest' compiled by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, on advice from English Heritage.

Local Agenda 21 Process of developing local policies for sustainable development through community involvement and consultation, and building partnerships between local authorities and other sectors to implement them.

Local Plan Description of, and development proposals for, the Local Authority’s area.

National Nature Reserves National Nature Reserves protect the most important areas of wildlife habitat and geological formations in Britain, and act as places for scientific research.

Owner Defined in section 78A(9) as: “a person (other than a mortgagee not in possession) who, whether in his own right or as a trustee for any other person, who is entitled to receive the rack rent of the land, or where the land is not let at a rack rate, would be so entitled if it were so let.”

Part IIA Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the contaminated land regime.

Pathway A pathway is one or more routes or means by, or through, which a receptor:

a)     is being exposed to, or affected by, a contaminant, or

b)     could be so exposed or affected.

Pollutant linkage The relationship between a contaminant, a pathway and a receptor.

Private Water Supply A water supply, which is supplied by means other than from privatised water authorities.

Public Register The public register maintained by the enforcing authority under section 78R of particulars relating to contaminated land.

Ramsar Sites A "Ramsar site" is land listed as a Wetland of International Importance under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (the Ramsar Convention) 1973.

Receptor Either:

a living organism, group of organisms, an ecological system or a piece of property which:

a)     is in a category listed (Appendix F: Categories of Significant Harm) as a type of receptor, and

b)     is being, or could be, harmed by a contaminant; or

c)      controlled waters which are being, or could be, polluted by a contaminant.

Remediation Notice A legal document served to require land remediation and specifying the required works of remediation.

Risk assessment Risk can be defined as the combination of:

a)     the probability or frequency of occurrence of a defined hazard (for example, exposure to a property of a substance with the potential to cause harm); and

b)     the magnitude (including the seriousness) of the consequences.

Scheduled Ancient Monuments The definition of an ancient monument includes sites of public interest for historic, architectural, traditional or archaeological reasons, whether above or below ground, and any 'cave or excavation'. It also includes sites containing the remains of these. Not all are visible structures above ground and most only show when conditions are right, for example as distinct crop or soil marks.

Significant harm Defined in section 78A(5) of EPA 1990. Any harm is considered to be significant if it meets one of the descriptions of types of harm in the second column of Table 1, Appendix F: Categories of Significant Harm.

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) Areas of land that have been notified as of special interest under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 or the National Parks and Access to Countryside Act 1949. In England SSSIs are notified by English Nature forming a series of nationally important sites, which contribute to the conservation of wildlife habitats, geological features and landforms.

Source(s) A substance in, on or under the ground with the ability to cause harm.

Source Protection Zone (SPZ) Protection zones around certain sources of groundwater used for public water supply. Within these zones, certain activities and processes are prohibited or restricted.

Special Area of Conservation (SAC) A Special Area of Conservation (SAC) is the land designated under Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Special Site(s) Land is required to be designated as a Special Site where:

1.      a) controlled waters are being affected to  the extent they do not achieve the appropriate water quality standards; or

         b) controlled waters are being affected by  the land and:

(ii)   any of the substances which is causing or is likely to cause the pollution is a member of the following group of substances:

organohalogen compounds; organophosphorous compounds; organotin compounds; substances which possess carcinogenic, mutgenic or teratogenic properties in or via the aquatic environment; mercury and its compounds; cadmium and its compounds; mineral oil and other hydrocarbons; cyanides.

(ii)   the waters or any part of the waters are contained within underground strata which are considered to be major aquifers.

2.      waste acid tars are present in, on or under the land;

3.      the purification or refining of crude petroleum or any other substances with the exception of coal has taken place;

4.      the manufacture of explosives has taken place;

5.      prescribed processes under the Integrated Pollution and Control or Pollution Prevention and Control authorisations take place or have taken place;

6.      the land is owned or occupied by defence organisations or is being used for defence purposes;

7.      the land was used for the manufacture, production or disposal of various kinds of weapons: chemical, biological or nuclear etc.

Statement of Vision and Values Available from the Council website.

Substance (contaminated land regime definition) Any natural or artificial substance, whether in solid or liquid form or in the form of gas or vapour.

Sustainability See sustainable development.

Sustainable development Ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and in the future. It is development that balances economic, environmental and social considerations.

The Council Bath and North East Somerset Council

Uniform Database of information used within Environmental & Consumer Services at B&NES.

Website The Council’s website can be viewed at

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