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Environmental blog

22
Dec

  Earlier in 2015 a long-awaited DEFRA-commissioned report on the state of contaminated land in England, entitled ‘Examination of contaminated land sector activity in England’, was finally published. A similar report was prepared covering Wales. The authors of the report were from the not-for-profit organisation CL:AIRE (Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments), Cranfield University, and […]

19
Dec

  According to a leaked document, the government are due to reduce the number of the fire service’s incident response units (IRUs) by a third. These vehicles provide decontamination facilities and spill response in the event of an emergency involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear contamination incident . According to the document, 22 out of […]

14
Dec

  A number of recent high profile cases have resulted in heightened awareness and concern around asbestos in soil and the resultant health risks.   Due to the extent of previous asbestos use in construction, the majority of regulation to date is concerned with asbestos incorporated into the fabric of many buildings. Although the most […]

12
Dec

  A recent study (Drollette et al) on groundwater contamination in fracking regions of Pennsylvania has detected traces of fracking chemicals in groundwater. However, the authors believe that these chemicals, including the fracking substance bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, aromatic hydrocarbons, and diesel range organic compounds, are from surface spills, rather than upwards seepage from the deep rocks where […]

30
Nov

  The government is legislating for statutory registers of brownfield land suitable for housing to be introduced. While some local authorities already possess such registers, many will have to produce them. It is estimated that over half the brownfield land in the UK is vacant or derelict, the remainder being currently used, but still possessing […]

20
Nov

  For many years, the environmental effects of agrochemicals and industrial chemicals were subjects of public concern, increasing regulation and toxicological risk assessment, while the environmental effects of pharmaceuticals were largely neglected. It was only in the 1990s that regulators turned their attention towards pharmaceuticals, which resulted in the European Medicines Agency producing its ‘Guideline’on […]

10
Nov

Nature is amazing in its ability to defend and repair itself when harmed. A new study shows willow trees are able to turn on and off components of their DNA when planted in contaminated soil,…     Trees can decontaminate land, while protecting themselves from pests   Researchers from the University of Montreal have discovered […]

10
Nov

  A recent report, prepared as input towards the government’s 2017 climate change risk assessment (CCRA), indicated that the risk of flooding in the UK would increase significantly in the future, due to climate change. The authors of the report, Paul Sayers (Sayers and Partners), Matt Horritt (Horritt Consulting), Professor Penning-Rowsell (Middlesex University) and Andy […]

09
Nov

  1,1-Dimethylhydrazine (also known as unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine, UDMH) is a commonly used rocket fuel. In some locations, such as the surroundings of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, extensive pollution by 1,1-dimethylhydrazine has occurred, mainly from the early stages of rockets falling back to earth. The Baikonur Cosmodrome was constructed in the Soviet era, and […]

06
Nov

  Stormwater retention ponds (also known detention basins) are often incorporated into new housing developments in order to manage flood risk. Typically a pond will be constructed in a low-lying point in a new estate. The ponds can even be situated where vulnerable groundwater is present or above contaminated ground, provided they are securely lined. […]

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