Developments in Sustainability Assessment within Contaminated Land Management, and Perspectives from SuRF-UK and NICOLE.
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Since the end of the last century there has been a general international consensus that the basis of decision making for the management of the problems of historically contaminated land should be on the basis of asessment of risks to human health and environmental receptors. More recently there has been an increasing interest in including sustainability as a decision-making criterion, in particular to consider the impacts of a risk management process themselves, but also to explore wider opportunities for benefit by integrating remediation with other desirable activities. Sustainable remediation has come to exist as a popular term used to describe contaminated site management that is demonstrably sustainable, i.e. where some form of sustainability appraisal has been used in decision making to identify the 'most suitable' approach for any particular management intervention required. The 'most sustainable' approach is one that, in the view of the stakeholders involved in making or considering management decisions, has the optimal balance of effects and benefits for each of the three elements of sustainability - environment, economy and society. This chapter describes how the Brundtland Report concept of sustainabile development can be linked with reisk based land management as a tool in decision making.