Identification and Assessment of Contaminated Land

​​​​​​​​​​​​Contaminated land assessment involves a staged process of investigation and risk assessment undertaken by suitably certified, qualified and experienced consultants.

The contaminated site assessment process often commences with a consideration of whether land is potentially contaminated. Potentially contaminated land means land which could have been contaminated by a potentially contaminating activity (PCA) which is currently occurring or was historically hosted on the land or adjacent land. The potential for contamination to create a risk is dependent on the nature of the chemical substances used in the activity, the reactions and by-products from such substances, the extent and concentrations present on the land and on the nature of the proposed use and development.

EPA publishes datasets which may assist in the development of site history. This is often the first step in determining likely sources of contamination on a site​.​

Should your site host or have formerly hosted underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS) you can find further information on the Underground Fuel Tanks webpage.​

  • Potentially Contaminating Activities, Industries and Land Uses
    A list of potentially contaminating activities, industries and land uses which may have caused soil and/or groundwater contamination resulting in the land being a contaminated site.
  • Contaminated Land and the Planning Process
    Contaminated site assessments, remediation and/or management may be required in order to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of a Planning Authority, that land is suitable for an intended use where there is the consideration of re-zoning or change of land use to a more sensitive use, or the development is of a sufficient magnitude that it indicates new exposure pathways may be created during and following the re-development even where the sensitivity of the use is not changing.
  • Contaminated Land Assessment
    A contaminated land assessment is a formal, scientific evaluation of the nature and extent of contamination on- and off-site and an assessment of the actual or potential risk to human health or the environment resulting from that contamination. This may take the form of an Environmental Site Assessment under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulations 2020, or an investigation required by a regulatory notice issued under Part 5A of EMPCA. The assessment is usually undertaken using a staged approach based on the development of conceptual site models and risk assessments.
  • Engaging a Contaminated Site Assessment Consultant
    Engaging professionals who have the relevant certification (where required), qualifications, competencies and experience is important. Contaminated land assessments are inherently complex and usually present a wide range of issues requiring a multi-disciplinary approach, including scientific, technical and project management skills. Assessments must also meet relevant standards, quality assurance and regulatory requirements.
  • Land Contamination Information
    Information on finding land contamination information.