Contact Us

HBR Head Office
7 Appleton Court, Calder Park,
Wakefield, WF2 7AR

Telephone: 01924 250 132

Fax: 01924 251 394


Blackwell Southern Regional Office

Coggeshall Road, Earls Colne
Essex, CO6 2JX

Telephone: 01787 222768

Fax: 01787 224391

Blackwell Midlands and South West Regional Office
4 Bredon Court, Brockeridge Park,
Twyning, Gloucestershire
GL20 6FF

Telephone: 0844 482 9685

Blackwell Scottish Regional Office
Broken Cross,
Douglas Water,
ML11 9PB

Telephone: 01324 483713

HBR Certificates


We have provided a Glossary to explain any jargon we have used. If you want further information please don't hesitate to contact us.


Retention of the solute within the mass of the solid rather than on  its surface


The modification of characteristics of organisms to improve ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment


Retention of solutes in solution by the surfaces of the solid material


In the presence of oxygen


The absence of oxygen


Of man-made origin


Mixing of contaminated soil with clean soil to reduce concentration of hazardous compounds


Supplement of microorganisms to a contaminated site to enhance bioremediation; see Enhanced


Breakdown of organic substances by microorganisms by breaking intramolecular bonds; e.g., involving substituent functional group or mineralization.  As a result, the microorganisms derive energy and may increase in biomass


Treatment of off-gases using biological filters to remove VOCs


Mounds of excavated contaminated soil for controlled ex situ treatment


A natural or managed process involving biodegradation of environmental contaminants


Process of aerating subsurface soils to stimulate in situ bioremediation using SVE systems


Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes


Contaminant of concern


Chemical Oxygen demand


Simultaneous degradation of two compounds,


A substance that is in, on or under the land and that has the potential to cause harm or to cause pollution of controlled waters

Contaminated land        

Defined in s78A(2) of EPA 1990 as “any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land, that (a) significant harm is being caused or there is a  significant possibility of such harm being caused, or; (b) pollution of controlled waters is being, or is likely to be caused.”

Controlled waters          

Defined by Water Resources Act 1991, Part III, section 104, which includes all groundwater, inland waters, estuaries and coastal water to three nautical miles from the shore.


Conceptual Site Model




Also called dissimilatory nitrate reduction, where nitrate serves as the terminal electro acceptor in the oxidation of an organic substance, with production of N2 and energy for the cell; begins when oxygen concentration goes below 10 umol/L

Desk study         

Interpretation of historical, archival and current information to establish where previous activities were located, and where areas or zones that contain distinct and different types of contamination may be expected to occur, and to understand the environmental setting of the site in terms of pathways and receptors

Detailed quantitative risk assessment

Risk assessment carried out using detailed site-specific information to estimate risk or to develop site-specific assessment criteria

Detailed site investigation

Main stage of intrusive site investigation, which involves the collection and analysis of soil, surface water, groundwater, soil gas and other media as a means of further informing the conceptual model and the risk assessment.  This investigation may be undertaken in a single or a number of successive stages


Dense nonaqueous-phase liquids


Environment Agency

Ex Situ 

Latin for not in its original place. Ex situ treatments could be on site or off site. Where contaminated material is removed from the ground prior to above-ground treatment or encapsulation and/or disposal on or off site.


Granular activated carbon


Gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy


Gas Chromatography Flame Ionisation Detection


Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry

Generic assessment criteria

Criteria derived using generic assumptions about the characteristics and behaviour of sources, pathways and receptors.  These assumptions will be protective in a range of defined conditions

H2 O2   

Hydrogen peroxide, used to supply oxygen to the subsurface


The time required to decrease original concentration by one half


A property or situation that in particular circumstances could lead to harm or pollution


High Density Polyethylene


An organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon, the majority of hydrocarbons naturally occur in crude oil


Intermediate Bulk Containers

In situ Bioreclamation

Biodegradation operations taking place in the contaminated soil or groundwater without excavation

Indigenous microorganisms       

Microorganisms occurring naturally in a particular region or environment: stable members of a community that have a selective, competitive advantage in that environment


Where contaminated material is treated without prior excavation (of solids) or abstraction (of liquids) from the ground


In Situ Chemical Oxidation

Land affected by contamination

Land that might have contamination present which may, or may not, meet the statutory definition of contaminated land

Lines of evidence           

Collection of data sets for key parameters that support agreed remediation criteria to demonstrate the performance of remediation


Light Non Aqueous Phase Liquid


Limit of Detection


The Monitoring Certification Scheme is a quality assurance scheme for providers of monitoring services, equipment and systems, that is administered by the Environment Agency and accredited by


The chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life


Intermediates and products of metabolism.


Membrane Interface Probe


A continuous or regular periodic check to determine the ongoing nature and performance of remediation, which includes measurements undertaken for compliance purposes and those undertaken to assess performance


Non-aqueous-phase liquids (e.g., solvents and fuels); pollutants present in liquids that are immiscible with water

Natural attenuation

Unassisted biochemical degradation, evaporation, adsorption, metabolism, or transformation by microorganisms of subsurface contaminants


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, also called polyaromatic hydrocarbons and PNAs


A route or means by which a receptor could be, or is exposed to, or affected by a contaminant


Polychlorinated biphenyls




Polychlorinated phenols


Photoionization detector

Pollutant linkage            

The relationship between a contaminant, pathway and receptor


Personal Protective Equipment


Permeable Reactive Barrier


Quality Assurance/Quality Control


In general terms, something that could be adversely affected by a contaminant, such as people, an ecological system, property or a water body


Action taken to prevent or minimise, or remedy or mitigate the effects of any identified unacceptable risks

Remediation criteria     

Measures (usually, but not necessarily, expressed in quantitative terms) against which compliance with remediation objectives will be assessed

Remediation objective

A site-specific objective that relates solely to the reduction or control of the risks associated with one or more pollutant linkages

Remediation strategy   

A plan that involves one or more remediation options to reduce or control the risks from all the relevant pollutant linkages associated with the site


Remediation Implementation Plan


A combination of the probability, or frequency of occurrence of a defined hazard and the magnitude of the consequence of the occurrence

Risk Assessment             

The formal process of identifying, assessing and evaluating the health and environmental risks that may be associated with a hazard

Site-specific assessment criteria               

Values for concentrations of contaminants that have been derived using detailed site-specific information on the characteristics and behaviour of contaminants, pathways and receptors and that correspond to relevant criteria in relation to harm or pollution for deciding whether there is an unacceptable risk


Refers to both “adsorption” the retention of solutes in solution by the surfaces of the solid material and “absorption”, retention of the solute within the mass of the solid


Individuals or organisations with an interest in the scope, conduct and outcome of a risk management project.


molecule upon which an enzyme acts


Surface active agents that promote the wetting, solubilisation, and emulsification of organic chemicals


Soil vapour extraction; also called soil vacuum extraction, soil venting, and soil vapour stripping; reduces vapour pressure in soil and increases volatilization of contaminants, which are then withdrawn by the vacuum


Semi Volatile Organic Compound



Terminal electron acceptor (TEA)            

Chemicals necessary for transfer during metabolic processes while microorganisms biodegrade contaminants; aerobic biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons requires the TEA, oxygen; anaerobic biodegradation requires the TEAs iron, sulphate, or nitrate


Total Organic Carbon


Total petroleum hydrocarbons

Treatability studies       

Laboratory or field-scale trials that provide a means of determining the practicability and likely effectiveness of remediation, and estimating the timescales required to achieve the remediation objectives

Treatment trains             

Use of more than one technology or process, in series or in parallel, to remediate a contaminated site; these will be site and incident specific

Vadose zone     

Unsaturated soil above water table


The process of demonstrating that the risk has been reduced to meet remediation criteria and objectives based on a quantitative assessment of remediation performance

Verification plan             

A plan that sets out the requirements for gathering data to demonstrate that remediation meets the remediation objectives and criteria.

Verification report         

Provides a complete record of all remediation activities on site and the data collected as identified in the verification plan to support compliance with agreed remediation objectives and criteria


Volatile Organic Compound


Windrows are long triangular piles of soil, formed out of the excavated material that irequires treatment