Identification of an Appropriate Legislative Regime for the Remediation of Contaminated Land in Ireland

Legislative Regime for the Remediation of Contaminated Land in Ireland

Identification of an Appropriate Legislative Regime for the Remediation of Contaminated Land in Ireland

Researcher : Aoife Mahony Shields (LLB,LLM, Solicitor)
Supervisor: Dr. Owen McIntyre

Project Type - PhD
Start Year: 2006
End Year: 2009
Funding Body: EPA

 

Project Description

The degradation of soil, including contamination caused by human activity, affects the fertility of soil, its ability to store carbon, produce food and has a knock-on effect on other environmental medium such as water and air quality. All of which is of consequence to human health and economic development in Ireland.

 

Although the possible number of potentially contaminated sites in Ireland would be considered modest compared to other Countries, Irelandis not without its problems. The recent incident at a site adjacent to a Shell petrol station in Trim with resultant environmental damage, remediation costs and development delays, is a case in point.

 

Ireland, unlike most other EU Member States, does not have a specific statutory contaminated land regime. There exists a rather fragmented approach to its regulation, lending itself to legal uncertainty and a lack of coherence.  Of particular concern is the legal lacuna in respect of historical contamination.

 

The purpose of this research is to explore the possibility of identifying an appropriate legislative regime for the remediation of contaminated land in Ireland. This is explored in the light of the adequacy or otherwise of its current regulation, the Constitutional prohibition on retrospective liability, recent policy and legislative developments at EC level and experience in comparable jurisdictions.

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork

Top