Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Environmental Forensics' Could Cut The Cost Of Brownfield Development

Date:
September 14, 2006
Source:
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Summary:
The emerging scientific discipline of "Environmental Forensics" could make it easier to prove, to the satisfaction of a court of law, who is responsible for instances of pollution.

Environmental forensics in action: undertaking an investigation on potentially contaminated land.
Credit: Image courtesy of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The emerging scientific discipline of 'Environmental Forensics' could make it easier to prove, to the satisfaction of a court of law, who is responsible for instances of pollution.

In particular, it could play a key role in facilitating development of contaminated brownfield sites by cutting the cost of associated legal proceedings and reducing the time required to reach negotiated settlements between those involved.

The current status of environmental forensics will be described at this year’s BA Festival of Science in Norwich, with particular emphasis on its potential contribution to the future development of brownfield sites.

Building on brownfield sites has huge potential to meet a range of society’s industrial, commercial, residential and leisure needs, but many sites are polluted in some way (e.g. by chemical contamination of the soil or groundwater). The EU Environmental Liability Directive due to come into force in 2007 will make it necessary to determine who is responsible for such pollution so they can be required to meet the cost of remediation (i.e. the ‘polluter pays’ principle).

By determining scientifically and incontrovertibly who caused an incidence of pollution, environmental forensics will make legal proceedings arising from the Directive quicker, more straightforward, and therefore less expensive. This will remove some obstacles to brownfield development.

It will also be of benefit to major projects already under way, for example, the redevelopment of the site for the 2012 Olympic Games in East London and the Clyde Gateway project in Glasgow, which includes the potential site for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Although the individual skills that environmental forensics incorporates (e.g. ecological impact analysis, chemical analysis, hydrogeology etc.) are already well-established, the objective of this emerging discipline is to integrate these skills and apply them in a legal context. In particular, it aims to harness the significant body of experience that exists in the field of forensic science to help guide investigation and evaluation of incidents of environmental pollution.

A major research programme at Queen’s University Belfast, funded by the EPSRC, is currently working to promote the application of forensic science in the field of environmental science and to achieve this by focusing on real, live issues and cases. Professor Bob Kalin, who is leading the research programme, will deliver the presentation at the BA Festival on 8th September.

Professor Kalin will explain how environmental forensics focuses on identifying how and when contamination took place, its extent and impact, and – where appropriate – whether there have been any attempts to illegally ‘cover up’ an incident. He will also outline specific case studies of brownfield development where environmental forensics has already been or could have been applied.

“Environmental forensics aims to offer an authoritative, effective and efficient way of proving or disproving liability for pollution,” says Professor Kalin. “It could reduce the scope for argument, minimise legal hold-ups, cut the length of court cases and so speed up brownfield development in future.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. "'Environmental Forensics' Could Cut The Cost Of Brownfield Development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060908192920.htm>.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. (2006, September 14). 'Environmental Forensics' Could Cut The Cost Of Brownfield Development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060908192920.htm
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. "'Environmental Forensics' Could Cut The Cost Of Brownfield Development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060908192920.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

AFP (July 22, 2014) As part of the 14-ship convoy that will accompany the Costa Concordia from the port of Giglio to the port of Genoa, there will be a boat carrying experts to look out for dolphins and whales from crossing the path of the Concordia. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins