SOCOTEC, a leading UK provider of testing, inspection and compliance services, has been awarded a contract by Andrew Scott Ltd to provide support for ongoing land remediation works at Tata Steel’s integrated steelmaking site at Port Talbot.

Planning approval for the remediation works was granted in April, following SOCOTEC’s previous support in completing the site investigation and land remediation strategy for a proposed new plant on the site.

With the latest contract, SOCOTEC will provide a range of services to support the earthworks on the site for future construction and development.

The initial stages of work have already been completed, with SOCOTEC undertaking detailed risk assessments to define site-specific acceptance levels for re-using soils on-site. A remediation method statement and verification plan for the site works were produced along with an accompanying materials management plan to ensure works progress in line with current regulations and best practice.

Once site works commenced, SOCOTEC mobilised its on-site chemical analysis laboratory to provide daily sampling and on-site analysis. As with the majority of brownfield sites, the mobile laboratory is routinely testing for common contaminants such as total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), BTEX, metals, cyanide and phenol on-site. SOCOTEC is also using its off-site laboratory to provide verification analysis.

“Using an on-site laboratory brings significant benefits to our clients as the provision of rapid data results can help to identify the extent of excavation of hotspots and aid in segregating any unsuitable soils from those that can be directly re-used on site,” said Paul Tilley, operations director, environment and safety, at SOCOTEC.

According to Tilley, the Port Talbot steelmaking site has a long history of industrial activity and steel production. He said that SOCOTEC was pleased to be able to support such a major industrial site in understanding what is in the soil, and supporting ‘the safe and effective management of the remediation project.’

To ensure compliance with environmental regulations, SOCOTEC is also conducting environmental monitoring, including groundwater sampling and air quality measurements for dust, noise and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Regular monitoring will provide reassurance that remediation works are having minimal impact on the environment.

On completion of this stage of works, SOCOTEC will provide a Verification Report for submission to the regulatory bodies overseeing the project to ensure full regulatory and legislative compliance.