RSK has had a successful Brownfield Awards 2020, named as the winner in the Best Public Engagement and Participation; Best Re-use of Materials; and Best Infrastructure Project categories. The winners were announced last night, 19 November, at a virtual awards ceremony.
The Mersey Gateway project, for which RSK provided extensive environmental support and RemedX, an RSK company, undertook specialist remediation work, triumphed in two categories: Best Re-use of Materials and Best Infrastructure Project. The £1.86-billion scheme, a remarkable example of civil engineering, resulted in a 2.3-km, six-lane toll bridge spanning the River Mersey with associated new and upgraded linking infrastructure. The bridge opened in October 2017, but the project included extensive earthworks and remediation that were not completed until October 2019.
The legacy of heavy industry, particularly that of chemicals manufacture and processing, in the areas adjacent to the river meant that a wide range of ground contamination was present. RSK worked closely with its project partners and used detailed risk assessments to develop and apply a highly innovative solution to enable the reuse of large quantities of arsenic-contaminated soil within the scheme, thereby avoiding off-site disposal and achieving successful remediation.
The services that RSK provided to the client included contaminated land consultancy (including the placing of staff on long-term secondment), site investigation, remediation supervision, archaeology, regulatory liaison and wider environmental services. Specialist RSK remediation contractor RemedX worked in partnership with the main contractor to ensure that the soil remediation remained compliant and that all the soil, groundwater and surface water treatment was completed under its mobile treatment permit. RSK in-house laboratory Envirolab provided chemical testing throughout the project.
Environment Analyst Director and Brownfield Awards judge Ian Grant interviewed RSK’s Haydn Keen, Project Director, and Stephen Pettitt, RSK Technical Director and contamination specialist for the Merseylink Civil Contractors Joint Venture for the duration of the project. A link to a recording of the interview is available here.
Meanwhile, it was RSK’s involvement in the high-profile Buchanan and St Ambrose High School Campus Independent Review that earned it joint top spot in the Best Public Engagement and Participation category. After concerns were raised about the safety of the schools, which were built on a former landfill site in Coatbridge, central Scotland, and had featured heavily in national and local news, the Scottish Government commissioned an independent review of the campus. RSK was appointed to investigate and assess the soil conditions on-site and establish the risks to school users posed by any contamination found. The project demonstrates how exemplary stakeholder engagement, combined with rigorous independent investigation, was effective in resolving the concerns that had been raised about land contamination and the possible health impacts at a major school campus.
Now in its 16th year, the Brownfield Awards (formerly Brownfield Briefing Awards) are dedicated to recognising best practice in the brownfield, regeneration and contaminated land industry.