Contaminated Land

November 1997 

82.24 Provisions inserted into the EPA by s57 EA 95

Once contaminated land has been identified the local authority, and in some cases the Environment Agency, may serve a notice on the person responsible for the contamination to remedy the damage. The local authority may serve a remediation notice upon the owner or the present occupier of the land even though he was not responsible for the contamination if the former occupier cannot be traced. Failure to comply with a remediation notice may be a criminal offence. The enforcing authority may undertake the remediation work itself and seek to recover the costs from the person failing to carry out the work. However, the official receiver, in whichever capacity he is acting, is exempt from personal liability to bear the whole or any part of the remediation costs unless he acted unreasonably in causing the damage requiring the remediation. Neither will the official receiver be criminally liable for the failure to carry out the remediation except where he becomes personally liable by his unreasonable actions. The official receiver should respond to any remediation notice which he receives, or which was served upon the insolvent, by informing the issuing authority of the insolvency, of the official receiver’s exemption from liability and of the action which he has taken, or is going to take, in relation to the land. If there is any suggestion that the official receiver has acted unreasonably and is therefore considered to be liable for remediation costs, he should immediately contact Technical Section.

Notes:  [s78A and 78E EPA 90] [s78M EPA 90] [s78F EPA 90] [s78N and 78P EPA 90] [s78x(3) and (4) EPA 90]


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