B5.7 UK Policies and Controls


Legislation in the UK is divided into different areas. Legislation affecting:

  • England and Wales.
  • Scotland.
  • Northern Ireland.


Please note that the following section provides details of several pieces of legislation. It is not necessary for you to remember them all.

They have been provided to give an overview of the sorts of issues that are covered by legislation, which you can see are wide-ranging.

Each organisation has legislation that is considered ‘key’, but this differs from organisation to organisation. However, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2006 are generally considered to be the key legislation relating to contaminated land.

You do not need detailed knowledge of legislation for the exam.

Please note that due to the IEMA ending the course, this section is no longer being up-dated.


The following apply to all areas:

Environmental Protection Act 1990

Part 2A sets out the contaminated land regime. This was introduced in England on 1 April 2000, and in Wales on 15 September 2001. A similar regime was introduced in Scotland on 14 July 2000.

Part 2A provides a risk-based approach to the identification and remediation of land where contamination poses an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.

In December 2007 Part 2A was extended to include radioactivity originating from nuclear installations.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Contamination or the potential for contamination is considered during the planning process. Local Authorities can place conditions on planning permissions requiring that developers investigate contamination. Where contamination is discovered, requirements can be imposed to ensure that it is cleaned up sufficiently to prevent harm.