Five-times finalist at the Brownfield Awards

July 22, 2020


RSK has had a successful start to the Brownfield Awards 2020 and is shortlisted in all five categories that it entered. The geosciences-team-led entries in the Best Public Engagement and Participation; Best Application of Remediation Technologies; Best Project Closure/Verification; Best Re-use of Materials; and Best Infrastructure Project categories all proved strong candidates when the shortlist was announced last week. We hope they will also be winners at the virtual awards ceremony on 19 November.

The Mersey Gateway project, for which RSK provided extensive environmental support and RemedX undertook specialist remediation work, has been shortlisted in three categories: Best Application of Remediation Technologies; 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 and 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 chemical manufacture and processing, in the areas adjacent to the river meant that a wide range of ground contamination was present. The project utilised detailed risk assessments and range of techniques to achieve successful remediation and enable the reuse of more a million tonnes of soil, thereby avoiding off-site disposal. RSK worked closely with its project partners to develop and apply a highly innovative solution to remediate and allow reuse of large quantities of arsenic-contaminated soil within the scheme.

The services RSK provided to the client included contaminated land consultancy (including 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 with all the soil, groundwater and surface water treatment completed under its mobile treatment permit. RSK in-house laboratory Envirolab provided chemical testing throughout the project.

It was RSK’s involvement in the high-profile Buchanan and St Ambrose High School Campus Independent Review that earned it a place in the final 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 in Coatbridge, central Scotland, and 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 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 possible health impacts at a major school campus.

RSK’s final place in the shortlist is in the Best Project Closure/Verification category, for the Vapour Intrusion Risk Assessment of Residential Properties under Part 2A, UK, project. “The project concerns the assessment of residual contaminant linkages involving off-site migration of contaminants from a previously remediated former gasworks site to adjacent residential properties,” explains RSK Geosciences Director Tom Henman. “RSK was commissioned by a local authority to undertake the work to inform assessment of the status of the site under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It involved supplementary intrusive works, a monitoring programme and detailed quantitative risk assessments. It is an excellent example of the application of a multiple lines of evidence approach to inform a robust and defensible assessment under Part 2A.”

“The entries for this year’s Brownfield Awards were of a very high standard, so for our panel of judges to shortlist your project is a great achievement,” commented a Brownfield Award organiser.

We wish RSK and all the other finalists good luck at the virtual awards ceremony on 19 November and hope to have some more good news to share then.