In particular, it could play a key role in facilitating development of contaminated brownfield sites by cutting the cost of associated legal proceedings and reducing the time required to reach negotiated settlements between those involved.
The current status of environmental forensics will be described at this year’s BA Festival of Science in Norwich, with particular emphasis on its potential contribution to the future development of brownfield sites.
Building on brownfield sites has huge potential to meet a range of society’s industrial, commercial, residential and leisure needs, but many sites are polluted in some way (e.g. by chemical contamination of the soil or groundwater). The EU Environmental Liability Directive due to come into force in 2007 will make it necessary to determine who is responsible for such pollution so they can be required to meet the cost of remediation (i.e. the ‘polluter pays’ principle).
By determining scientifically and incontrovertibly who caused an incidence of pollution, environmental forensics will make legal proceedings arising from the Directive quicker, more straightforward, and therefore less expensive. This will remove some obstacles to brownfield development. It will also be of benefit to major projects already under way, for example, the redevelopment of the site for the 2012 Olympic Games in East London and the Clyde Gateway project in Glasgow, which includes the potential site for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Although the individual skills that environmental forensics incorporates (e.g. ecological impact analysis, chemical analysis, hydrogeology etc.) are already well-established, the objective of this emerging discipline is to integrate these skills and apply them in a legal context. In particular, it aims to harness the significant body of experience that exists in the field of forensic science to help guide investigation and evaluation of incidents of environmental pollution.
A major research programme at Queen’s University Belfast, funded by the EPSRC, is currently working to promote the application of forensic science in the field of environmental science and to achieve this by focusing on real, live issues and cases. Professor Bob Kalin, who is leading the research programme, will deliver the presentation at the BA Festival on 8th September.
Professor Kalin will explain how environmental forensics focuses on identifying how and when contamination took place, its extent and impact, and – where appropriate – whether there have been any attempts to illegally ‘cover up’ an incident. He will also outline specific case studies of brownfield development where environmental forensics has already been or could have been applied.
“Environmental forensics aims to offer an authoritative, effective and efficient way of proving or disproving liability for pollution,” says Professor Kalin. “It could reduce the scope for argument, minimise legal hold-ups, cut the length of court cases and so speed up brownfield development in future.”
Natasha Richardson | alfa
Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research