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What is a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation?

Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigations, noted in the Environment Agency LCRM guidance as the second step of a Stage 1 Risk Assessment, are conducted following the identification of contamination risks at a site that require further investigation in order to quantify. This initial identification is carried out as part of a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment (Desk Study), which will also outline a scope of work for a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation. Site investigations are likely to include targeted soil or water sampling, with analysis carried out in a UKAS accredited laboratory, and are essential in order to determine whether contamination is present at your site.

The Basics - After first carrying out a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment (Desk Study), a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation is the next stage in the assessment of potentially contaminated land and is a common requirement for everything from Environmental Due Diligence to supporting planning applications. If a desk study has identified that a site is potentially contaminated, a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation will be required in order to fully assess the nature and extent of site contamination.

Where the Desktop Study identifies potential contamination a Detailed Site Investigation Report will also be required, including a site investigation documenting the characteristics of the ground, an evaluation of all potential sources of contamination and a risk assessment, together with an updated conceptual model. – Example planning permission condition from Rushcliffe Borough Council

The Phases & Ways to Save Money - A Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation will build on the findings of previous investigations, with an aim to confirm whether suspected contamination is present at the site. It's important to adopt a phased approach in these kinds of assessments as it allows us to focus attention on particular areas of potential contamination at the site, in addition to, saving time and money through a more efficient sampling strategy. This approach also ensures that the appropriate laboratory testing is carried out, saving money by avoiding unnecessary tests and making sure the right contaminants are tested for so important elements aren't missed out. Throughout the Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation a 'Conceptual Site Model' (CSM) will be updated as new sources or pathways of contamination are identified, in order to determine the risk presented by contamination at the site.

What Does a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation Include?

Sampling Strategies & Site Visit - A Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation will involve planning a sampling strategy for collecting soil samples from the site, taking into account any potential sources of contamination identified as part of the Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment. For example, if hazardous substances are stored on a site it will be important to take samples from this area to identify any resulting contamination of the land. At this stage of a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation the location and depths of samples will be determined along with the method of taking them. For example, for a site intended for redevelopment into residential land it will likely be important to sample shallow soils as this is an important pathway of contamination that may affect the future residents, this can usually be carried out using a handheld window sampler.

Once the sampling strategy for the intrusive site investigation has been planned, samples will be taken from site. It may be the case that unforeseen constraints limit the sampling and the sampling carried out may differ from the original strategy. The limitations will be noted in the report but will rarely invalidate an investigation entirely.

UKAS Accredited Laboratory Testing - After samples are collected they are sent to our UKAS accredited laboratory for analysis that may include testing for common contaminants, such as heavy metals and hydrocarbons, but will be specific to every site investigation. For example, on some sites, it's important to test for the presence of asbestos. Once the laboratory testing is complete, the results will be assessed with reference to industry standard screening values that act as threshold values for determining if a site can be considered 'contaminated'.

Why Do I Need a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation?

It's not possible to determine actual contamination levels present at a site without first carrying out a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation. Desk studies can only identify potential sources of contamination and without collecting and testing soil samples, actual contamination levels cannot be identified. UK legislation dicontacttes that the land contamination risk assessment process is an integral part of any development project and if a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment for a development identifies the need for further investigation, no development will be allowed until a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation is carried out. Carrying out an intrusive site investigation may also allow you to avoid unnecessary and costly remediation work as it will provide all the necessary information to inform a Phase 3 Remediation Options Appraisal & Strategy.

How we can help - We regularly carry out Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigations for a range of construction projects on greenfield and brownfield land, so if you need a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation, we can help.

Meet Our Site Investigation Consultants

Consultants - Supervised by our Chief Technical Officer, Louis Turner, our fully comprehensive Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigations, are carried out by highly qualified consultants, combining over 30 years experience with recognised in-depth technical qualifications in identification of contamination and environmental issues, as well as the implementation of remediation work.

Management - Our wealth of experience in project management, logistics and environmental consulting allows us to provide an efficient, friendly and high quality Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation service for our clients. As a company, we believe that helping clients achieve their goals while simultaneously protecting the environment is a true "win-win" situation.

Partners - Our experienced, professional and qualified construction and consulting partners further extend the range of environmental and land contamination services we are able to provide. Our partners provide our clients with services such as waste management, remediation implementation and construction services.

Contact Us - Contact us and let us know your requirements. Following initial consultation we can provide an outline proposal detailing how we can help and the costs involved. Our environmental consultants will then carry out a Phase 2 Intrusive Site Investigation, including sampling work and laboratory analysis, allowing you to stick to schedules and minimise any disruption to your project.

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