New legislation on landfill taxes introduced this year places the onus on contractors and developers to demonstrate the responsible disposal and re-use of materials for construction projects. Equally important, the Environment Agency requires advance proof that a management plan is in place ahead of the start of work on site, with retrospective submissions no longer an option. Failure to provide timely proof of compliance can be costly and may delay projection completion, as outlined in our previous article Site Reuse of materials: Be Clear on the Rules
Ensuring compliance on waste
Demonstrating where materials will be used and in what measure requires that clients and developers achieve a sufficiently robust cut and fill mass balance. In addition, any surplus, other than naturally occurring ground materials, will need to be disposed of off-site in accordance with the latest waste legislation, including manufactured ground materials.
The sustainable remediation of contaminated land and groundwater is regulated through the Definition of Waste Code of Practice (DoWCoP) developed by independent body, Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments (CL:AIRE). To comply, works must be carried out under a Materials Management Plan (MMP).
What is an MMP?
The Materials Management Plan (MMP) offers a mechanism to site developers to demonstrate excavated materials satisfy the ‘end of waste’ process and that where materials are re-used the necessary treatment and testing procedures are in place. Embodied within the MMP is the remediation strategy, which sets out the criteria for re-use for approval by the regulator, also containing information about the project as well as supporting evidence such as risk assessments and site investigation reports.
No work can commence until the document has been submitted to and approved by the Environment Agency, with assessment by an independent qualified person required prior to submission. During on-site works, contractors are required to keep track of material movements and ensure all recovered materials are suitable for reuse in accordance with the sampling and verification regime set out in the remediation strategy. Any changes made during construction must be recorded and reconciled and a final verification report submitted on project completion, with the potential for retrospective auditing extending to two years after conclusion of the project.
Comprehensive in its reach, the MMP does not however remove the need for an environmental permit, which must also be applied for and approved prior to excavation.
Keeping costs down
The reuse of materials offers significant environmental benefits, optimising the use of resources, as well as potential savings for developers by reducing disposal costs and the need for additional materials purchase. Additionally, the MMP covers the transfer of virgin materials to other sites with a similar MMP in place.
Submitting permit applications can be a complex process however. Added to this, the documentation and recording required at every stage of the MMP, may appear a daunting and time-consuming prospect.
With extensive site remediation expertise, Ecologia can help developers and clients navigate through the legislative minefield to ensure compliance requirements are fully met and reduce the risk of unexpected tax bills.
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