Tests give ex-landfill site the all-clear

INVESTIGATIONS to establish if rubbish dumped at two former refuse tips in York contaminated the land have revealed there is no risk to public health.

The tests at a closed landfill site at Chapman's Pond, off Moor Lane in Dringhouses, and on land behind Westfield School, off Askham Lane, have found no harmful contamination.

York Council has confirmed the test results concluded that the waste material buried at both sites, which are now public open spaces, was found to mainly contain soil, gravel, brick and concrete as well as glass, ceramics, coal and ash.

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York Council's senior contaminated land officer, Lucie Hankinson, said: "Based on the findings of our investigation, I am pleased to confirm that neither of the sites have been determined as contaminated land.

"However, the council's environmental protection unit will continue to protect people and the environment from contaminants in the ground by inspecting closed refuse tips and old industrial sites. If contamination is found, the unit has the legal powers to ensure that it is cleaned up."

The tests, which were funded by a 51,000 grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, were carried out in February.

The studies involved taking soil and water samples as well as ground-gas monitoring.

Both sites were determined as being free of contaminated land under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Previous grants have funded the investigations of closed landfill sites in the city at Fulford Cross, Nun Ings, Huntington Road, Fifth Avenue and Water End.

A revised strategy was drawn up by York Council earlier this year to include a number of recent changes in legislation and guidance.

If contaminated land is found, the blueprints provide a framework that looks at how clean-up works will be carried out to protect the public's health and the environment.