A Comparative Study, Volume 2
Edited by Anil Markandya and Marialuisa Tamborra
Paul Watkiss, Mike Holland, Katie King and Alistair Hunt 13.1 INTRODUCTION Contaminated land has emerged as a major issue of concern over the past few decades, largely in response to a number of documented problem sites. Of these, the most well known is probably Love Canal in the US, where a housing development was built on a capped disposal site containing hazardous material. Contamination from the site was linked to serious illnesses in the local area and a national emergency was declared, which led in turn to the creation of the Superfund. In Europe, a similar event occurred at Lekkerkerk in the Netherlands, where 1600 drums of illegally dumped toxic waste were discovered. Several hundred houses had been built on the site, which was a reclaimed waste tip, and there were widespread illnesses resulting from contamination of groundwater and underﬂoor voids. Such major cases are now extremely rare. Nevertheless, there is still a large legacy of contaminated sites across Europe and whilst waste management practices have improved some land contamination continues. The assessment of the environmental degradation of land from human activities was not included in the ﬁrst phase of this research (Markandya and Pavan, 1999). The objective of the following phase of work has therefore been to develop a usable approach to value these damages for the purpose of environmental accounting. This chapter discusses the progress made in assessing damage from contaminated land, looking at: ● ● ● impact pathways for contaminated land; available databases of contaminated land and evaluation of...
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