Aim of the research
2.1 The aim of the research project is, through engagement with the 23 LAs located within coal mining affected areas of Scotland, to collate current practice and provide a summary assessment of options to deliver a standardised 'good practice' approach to risk assessment, reporting, mitigation and verification of mitigation measures.
2.2 The underlying aim of this project (and the related 2019 Scottish Government research project) is to improve the consistency of regulation to help avoid a recurrence of the Gorebridge incident at other localities.
2.3 The proposed good practice approach should consider interdepartmental relationships between the EHO/ CLO, Planning, and Building Standards with the aim of achieving a scientifically robust and consistent approach to the risks posed by coal mine gas to development.
2.4 This 'good practice guide' is intended to specifically relate to the process under the Planning and Building Standards regimes by which potential risks from mine gas to development are assessed and mitigated effectively, as opposed to guidance on the technical aspects themselves, which is covered elsewhere.
2.5 Whilst this report specifically covers mine gas – focusing specifically on coal and oil shale mining sites - the authors note that there is overlap between this and regulation of the risks from ground gases from other sources and wider land contamination issues.
Objectives of the research
2.6 The objectives of the current research project, as detailed in the tender
Schedule 2 – Specification, are to:
- build a picture of the current processes applied, as part of statutory permissions, to assess and mitigate risk from mine gas within mining affected local authority areas.
- identify examples of current good practice which can potentially be applied Scotland wide.
- seek input on such recommendations from mining affected local authority areas.
- offer a proposal setting out options to implement a standardised risk assessment and mitigation protocol for implementation/adoption.
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