On completion of the remedial works there is a need to demonstrate transparently to regulators and stakeholders that the operation has been successful. This is the validation stage.
The purpose is to identify the success of these works and to identify whether any further remediation or risk management measures are necessary to ensure the site is suitable for its intended use.
A validation report is required to be submitted to confirm the success of the remediation or if there is a requirement for contingency works to undertaken. Where longer term monitoring is needed e.g. groundwater or gas monitoring an interim report will be submitted detailing all the validation work undertaken to date.
The following details are included within a validation report;
1. Details of the location and depths of the validation samples taken, with soil, leachate, water and/or gas readings if taken.
2. Results of the analysis with a comparison against the validation criteria. The interpretation of the results determines whether any further work is required. Where the validation criteria has not been achieved, further work will need to be undertaken. This may consist of further risk assessment for example or contingency works on site.
3. The laboratory analytical sheets.
4. Chain of custody documents and laboratory accreditation details.
5. The conceptual model created in the previous Phase I investigation will have been updated throughout the investigation as more information is discovered. In the validation report it should be used to demonstrate how the pollutant linkages have been broken and/or controlled.
6. Conclusions of whether all pollutant linkages have been broken or effectively controlled and whether the site is suitable for its intended use.
7. If the validation has proven to be unsuccessful, details of the contingency works to be undertaken including timescales for the work and when a further validation report will be submitted.
8. A final copy of the report must be submitted which is signed and dated by the consultant on the applicant’s behalf or by the applicant/agent themselves.
Where the agreed target criteria set for the remediation have not been met, further work is required to address the situation. Discussions should be had with the Council once it is known that the remediation works have not met the targets. The extent of work required to ensure that the site is suitable for its intended use can then be established.
In some cases longer term monitoring will be required on the site to provide validation to remediation works. Where this is required timescales should have been set when agreeing the remediation strategy as to when interim reports would be submitted to the Council, including any interim validation criteria. The details similar to those given above should be included in interim validation reports.
Where contaminated land conditions are applied to a planning consent they will be specific to each phase of an investigation. This then allows the relevant conditions to be discharged as the phases of investigation are satisfactorily completed. The condition relating to remediation and validation will be discharged upon satisfactory review of information received by the Council.