SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

In the past decade, management of historically contaminated land has largely been based on prevention of unacceptable risks to human health and the environment, to ensure a site is “fit for use.” More recently, interest has been shown in including sustainability as a decision-making criterion. Sustainability concerns include the environmental, social, and economic consequences of risk management activities themselves, and also the opportunities for wider benefit beyond achievement of risk-reduction goals alone. In the United Kingdom, this interest has led to the formation of a multistakeholder initiative, the UK Sustainable Remediation Forum (SuRF-UK). This article presents a framework for assessing “sustainable remediation”; describes how it links with the relevant regulatory guidance; reviews the factors considered in sustainability; and looks at the appraisal tools that have been applied to evaluate the wider benefits and impacts of land remediation. The article also describes how the framework relates to recent international developments, including emerging European Union legislation and policy. A large part of this debate has taken place in the “grey” literature, which we review. It is proposed that a practical approach to integrating sustainability within risk-based contaminated land management offers the possibility of a substantial step forward for the remediation industry, and a new opportunity for international consensus. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.