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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
Dudley Skyline

Dudley is situated at the heart of the Black Country, an intensely industrialised area that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution. The strong industrial heritage of the Dudley borough was built upon its mineral wealth of coal, ironstone, limestone, fireclay and sand.

Numerous sites have become contaminated due to human activities involving the use, manufacture, storage and disposal of toxic or hazardous substances. The type of contamination can vary widely from site to site and is specific to the previous use. Some of the more common substances encountered include arsenic, heavy metals (such as lead and mercury), oils and tars, solvents, acids and gases such as methane and hydrogen sulphide associated with the degradation of wastes.

Land contamination is not just restricted to industrial sites. Some substances, such as arsenic, methane and carbon dioxide can occur naturally due to the geology of the borough. Contamination can also be present as a result of accidents, spillages, aerial deposition or migration.

Besides land contamination, the nature of the borough’s industrial past has also resulted in other hazardous ground conditions associated with unstable land, shallow coal workings, mineshafts and limestone caverns being present.

We are working to address the legacy of contamination associated with historic activities and also prevent the creation of new contamination. Land contamination is an important issue for us, both in terms of preventing damage to human health and the environment, and in encouraging development on brownfield sites.

Free access to a variety of information is available via the website so that people can make informed decisions about land contamination for themselves.

If you require specific information about land contamination you can make requests under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 using the Request For Information Form. Please be specific in stating the information you require.

We don't provide environmental information or a reporting service and neither will we interpret or comment on the contents of third party environmental search reports.

If you are in receipt of a third party environmental search report suggesting that a specific property could be ‘contaminated land’ and you want further information you should make a request for information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 using the Request For Information Form. Please be specific in stating the information you require.

Dealing with land contamination

The overall approach when dealing with historic land contamination is one of risk management. In general terms, those dealing with land contamination are faced with two basic questions – does the contamination matter, and if so what needs to be done about it?

Researching the potential for contamination to be present

In a few simple steps you can get an initial indication as to the possibility of contamination being present at a particular property or piece of land.

Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990

Part 2A came into force on 1 April 2000. It provides the legislative framework for the identification and remediation of contaminated land, introducing for the first time a statutory definition of contaminated land.

Development of potentially contaminated land

The possibility of land being contaminated is a material planning consideration which means the Local Planning Authority has to consider the potential implications when developing plans and also considering applications for planning permission.

Landfill Sites

A landfill site can be defined in simple terms as a site used for the disposal of waste materials by burial. However, the nature of historic waste disposal practices in the Dudley borough tends to complicate things a little and it is not always clear what constitutes a landfill site.