Polluter Pays ?
article by Anton Howse draws attention to new legislation and the need
for increased vigilance in relation to contaminated land.
new law on the responsibility for cleaning up contaminated land has been introduced.
It is based on the principle that the polluter pays so that ‘remediation’ will
primarily be the duty of the actual polluter or the person who knowingly permits
it to remain there. However, others such as the occupier of the land could become
liable if the culprit cannot be found.
authorities are required to inspect land in their area and identify contaminated
land. Land is contaminated if there are substances in, on or under it, so that
it is in such a condition that significant harm is being caused or there is a
significant possibility of causing such harm. Local authorities have powers to
go onto land and take samples in order to perform their duties.
a local authority identifies any contaminated land, it must give notice to the
owner, any occupier and any person who caused or knowingly permitted the contamination.
There is a requirement for consultation, and then the authority can serve a remediation
notice specifying the remedial action. This will be served on the person who caused
or knowingly permitted the contamination or, if that person cannot be found, on
the owner of the land or its occupier.
Clubs that are involved in the sale or purchase of a company, business assets
or land must establish whether any of the land sold or included is likely to be
contaminated and, if so, the risks involved. Buyers may well need to extend their
due diligence of the land in the light of these new risks. Both parties could
also get involved in contractual negotiations over warranties about the state
of any land in question and allocating responsibilities if a clean-up is required.
golf courses occupy very large acreage and are consequently prone to unlawful
fly tipping, some of which may be harmful to the environment. Regular inspections
of these vulnerable areas are recommended to establish whether fly tipping does
occur and action taken to prevent such occurrence to avoid any contamination
further information, contact Anton Howse, Ellis Jones, Solicitors, Sandbourne
House, 302 Charminster Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH8 9RU. Tel. 01202 525333. Fax.
01202 535935. E-mail : email@example.com