Requirements and guidelines of the Ministry of Environmental Protection for conducting a historical land survey
Conducting a historical survey of contaminated sites whether it is gas pollution, water pollution or contaminated soil includes a process of gathering accurate information about the nature of the activity that has been carried out in the past and is being carried out in the present. The information that is taken from documents and data will help to confirm suspicions about the contamination of the place, what materials it is contaminated with and how the soil can be rehabilitated.
When conducting a historical land survey on a site suspected of being polluted, you get not only an accurate picture of the nature of the pollution, but also a professional and qualified basis for initiating legal proceedings regarding planning and construction, due diligence, land sale processes of landowners and future designation of the land in question.
Conducting a historical survey
Conducting a historical survey involves a number of steps:
Collection of information that includes data, documents and any documentation related to the nature of the activity on the site in the past and present.
Conduct a tour of the contaminated site to examine the data and documentation obtained.
Submission of a detailed historical survey report based on the collection of information and the conduct of the tour with a full analysis of pollutants, their origin and their impact on the entire environment. The report also details an investigation plan that includes soil sampling, pile sampling, soil gas survey and more.
Step A – Gathering information
This step is extremely critical and must be performed in detail and in depth. The data collected are carefully examined and classified into relevant data and irrelevant data and it includes four parts:
Background data – the name of the site, its exact address that includes a block and plot number, the use of the land itself, when the use of the site began, what is the legal status of the land and who owns it.
Physical data – examination of the type of soil, examination of the annual amount of precipitation that exists in it, its location in relation to other sites in its vicinity, topographic examination of the presence of water channels and streams in the area, irrigation systems, drainage and sewage systems, rainwater channels, what is the top cover of the soil, is there Water infiltration areas and areas sensitive to pollution from fuels and hazardous substances.
The activity on the site and in the environment – this section deals with the collection of data on the various activities carried out on the site, whether it is with industrial activity, agriculture, trade or residence. The data are obtained from the collection of documents including building permits, poison permits, business licenses, permits for evacuation of hazardous materials, hydrological reports, sewage analyzes, geotechnical survey, soil sampling, data on past and present hazardous waste use, warehouses and waste storage sites, production processes ( If it is land for industrial use), examining all access roads to the site, accurate inspection of roads and dirt roads leading to the site, drawing a diagram of the sewer system and underground infrastructure, auxiliary facilities such as generators and compressors and storage, examining past faults and failures up to 150 meters from The site and checking the results of the samples.
Site mapping – collection of a site map, topographic map, geological map, map of sensitive sites in the area, diagrams and aerial photographs within 5 years of the site being established.
Step B – Conducting a tour and examining data
After collecting the comprehensive data one has to take a tour of the site, fill out questionnaires and a round of interviews. This step has three parts:
Site tour – The survey editor will tour the site and examine all the data collected in the first part of the survey. The survey editor will focus on areas suspected of being contaminated, will lift lids including septic tanks, collecting, sewage and drainage and will grammatically examine suspicious hazards such as pipes, damaged containers and various storage containers.
Filling out questionnaires – The site will carry out uniform questionnaires even if they are people of different ranks. Each person filling out a questionnaire will indicate his or her full name, position, seniority, area of responsibility and other positions he or she has previously filled.
Interviews – The survey editor will interview the site manager and five key employees with the highest experience who know the history of the land and its uses. The interviews should be transcribed and included in the final report.
Step C – Submission of a historical survey
This is the final step in conducting a historical survey and it includes five parts:
Information analysis – according to the methodology of the Ministry of Environmental Protection “Website perception model”. The analysis will include a breakdown and definition of relevant receptors in the past, present and future of the site suspected to be contaminated, illustration of sources of contamination, ways in which contamination occurs whether through water, gas or soil, exposure of contamination to vegetation, animals, humans and water sources. This analysis will detail the types of pollutants and their estimated amount, the types of infrastructure to prevent pollution that exist in the area and the determination of the potential of the pollution with reference to all the variables that were examined at the data collection stage.
Drawing conclusions – when it is found that there is potential for contaminated soil at the site, its height must be assessed; Is it a moderate or high infection. The survey editor will detail which areas are at risk for high contamination and which are at medium contamination level and whether there are areas that have not been examined at all.
Preparation of a soil survey plan – The survey editor will prepare a soil survey plan based on all data and conclusions collected so far that will include: a list of pollutants, a list of hazardous substances that contaminated the soil, detailed tables of passive gas tests, soil sampling and active gas. In addition, the plan will include a map with locations of land survey tests.
Submission of the report – At this stage, the historical survey report is submitted with all the information collected in it, including maps, diagrams and photographs in an orderly manner. The report is submitted in two hard copies and one electronic copy with the editor’s signature confirming that he is the one who exclusively prepared the survey.
Review of the report by the Ministry of Environmental Protection – The report will undergo a integrity check in the first stage which will determine whether all the necessary information appears in it in the required manner and then it will be possible to submit it for professional examination.