1. The purpose of this document is to draw your attention to the entry into force of changes to the contaminated land regime, insofar as contaminated land may be a source of pollution of the water environment, as a result of the Contaminated Land (Scotland) Regulations 2005 ( SSI 2005/658) (the 2005 Regulations), made by the Scottish Ministers under powers conferred by section 20 of, and schedule 2 to, the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003, and to promulgate statutory guidance required in consequence of these changes in the legislation. The attached statutory guidance, as set out at Annex 3 to this document, replaces in its entirety the guidance issued previously under cover of SERAD Circular 1/2000 dated 12 July 2000.
2. The contaminated land regime, which is provided for in Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (the 1990 Act) as inserted by section 57 of the Environment Act 1995, came into force in Scotland on 14 July 2000. The regime places a duty on local authorities, as the primary regulators, to identify and secure the remediation of contaminated land in their respective areas. It was introduced to provide an improved system for the identification and remediation of land where historical contamination is causing unacceptable risks to human health or the wider environment, assessed in the context of the current use and circumstances of the land. Although the regime is based on the polluter pays principle, local authorities also have powers to carry out remediation work at their own hand where polluters/owners cannot be traced, cannot pay for remediation for reasons of hardship, or where the local authority owns the land.
3. The Contaminated Land (Scotland) Regulations 2000 ( SSI 2000/178) (the 2000 Regulations) made provision in relation to the circumstances in which contaminated land requires to be designated as a special site, and provides for a remediation regime, regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA), in that regard.
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