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New Standard Published to help Reduce Contamination Risk from Ground Gases

BSI (UK), the National Standards Body for the UK, has published a new standard that will help to reduce the potential risks to people, buildings and the general environment from contaminated land and “brownfield” sites where toxic ground gases exist. In areas where redevelopment is being carried out, emissions from these sites have to be monitored properly to ensure they meet UK regulations for safety. Inadequate investigation for ground gas is likely to result in refusal of planning permission or at least delays in obtaining permission.

BS 8576 Guidance on investigations for ground gas will enable this investigation process. The standard provides guidance on ground gases, volatile organic compounds and permanent gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and oxygen. It is intended for use with BS 10175 Investigations of potentially contaminated sites - Code of practice.

Some of the key features of the standard include: A framework for assessing development sites and the risks posed by gassing sites (areas where ground gases are present) to neighbouring land and developments; Guidance to investigations of gases under part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Environmental Damage Regulations; For clarity and time-saving, text is provided in a combined format especially in areas where two or more common issues and the approach to investigating them occurs together.

BS 8576 has been created through the collaboration of experts within the field such as the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Environment Agency and the Institution of Civil Engineers. It will be of particular interest to consultants and regulators such as the local authority Contaminated Land Officers, those enforcing Building Regulations and the National Housebuilding Council (NHBC).

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Environmental Technology Online