LQM is a specialist environmental consultancy based in Nottingham (UK) with an international reputation for assessing and managing the risks posed to human health and the environment by contaminants in soil. Increasingly this is being done within a context of sustainable development and specifically sustainable brownfield regeneration.

We provide consultancy, peer review and expert witness services, contract research and training courses on all aspects of the management of land contamination to problem holders, developers and local government.

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  1. Webinar: The ‘Top Two’ approach and the LQM Calculator

    What is the “Top Two” approach?

    In deriving generic or site-specific assessment criteria for soils, SR3 (Environment Agency, 2009) generally recommends using default inputs intended to be protective in all but the most extreme exposure scenarios. For example, with respect to the consumption of six groups of homegrown fruit and vegetables considered by the UK Contaminated Land Exposure Assessment (CLEA) model, it recommends that consumption rates that would be protective of 90% of the UK population  (i.e. 90th percentile consumption rates) should be adopted.

    In 2014, alternative guidance was published as part of the SP1010 research project (Defra, 2014), which also derived the initial six ‘Category 4 Screening Level’ (C4SLs).  SP1010 generally recommends the use of “central tendency” inputs to avoid generating overly cautious assessment criteria. However, in order to ensure that assessment criteria are adequately protective, SP1010 recommends a “middle ground approach” with respect to consumption rates where by the 90th percentile is used “for the two homegrown produce groups expected to give the highest exposure” and mean consumption rates for the remaining four groups.  This is known as the ‘Top Two’ approach.

    CLEA V 1.071

    There is functionality within the latest version of CLEA (Ver. 1.071) to implement the recommendations of SP1010, and so generate C4SL-like assessment criteria.  However, in order to apply the ‘Top Two’ approach the user must first be able to identify and definethe ‘Top Two’ produce groups within the chemical-specific database.   Therefore, in order to produce C4SLs (or any other SP1010-compliant assessment criteria) a risk assessor must first identify which are the ‘Top Two’ produce groups.  This is not straightforward or readily decided and requires a series of calculations.

    But how can the ‘Top Two’ be identified?

    LQM have developed a ‘Top Two’ Calculator, which rapidly and easily identifies the Top Two, and we have been using internally for sometime.  To find out more about the ‘Top Two’ approach, and how to use the Calcuator to identify the ‘Top Two’ produce groups please join us for a one-hour lunchtime webinar on the 5th of Sept 2018.  To book your place please visit our website.

    ** Each delegate will also receive a free complimentary copy of the LQM ‘Top Two’ Calculator. **

    Note:  webinars can only be booked via online card payment but you will receive a 20% discount making the overall cost £50 excl. VAT.


    Environment Agency (2009).Updated Technical Background to the CLEA Model, ISBN:978-1-84432-856-7.

    Defra (2014). Website: Development of Category 4 Screening Levels for assessment of land affected by contamination – SP1010.

  2. ***SIZZLING** Topic: What’s hot – and not – in the new NPPF? (Webinars on 9 & 16 August 2018)

    LQM is delighted to be working with Brownfield Briefing again on a new webinar on the ***SIZZLING** topic of the new NPPF:

    What’s hot – and not – in the new NPPF?

    One webinar on two dates:

    9 August 2018 (1100-1300) https://lnkd.in/eBsKRwA

    16 August (1300-1500) https://lnkd.in/eDJVnAF

    On the last day before the summer break, the government published an updated version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF2018) for England.

    The NPPF2018:

    * Focuses on house building
    * Partly addresses the interim recommendations of the Letwin review
    * Affects the weight given to neighbourhood plans
    * Seeks to embed good design to accelerate house building
    * Tweaks the provisions for land contamination

    Intended audience: Consultants, planners, neighbourhood plan makers, town and parish councils, developers, house builders.

    Paul Nathanail, Managing Director of Land Quality Management Ltd, will take you through NPPF2018 and associated policy documents in this webinar so you are ideally placed to help shape England’s green and pleasant land over the coming months.

    If you are unable to attend this webinar we will send you the recording of the presentation and you will also get to ask any questions you have to Paul by email.

    PLUS! When you register for this webinar you are automatically entitled to 20% off our Building Sustainable Towns and Cities conference in September.

  3. You can control WIYvoBY …

    The demise of the What’s In Your Backyard (WIYBY) web site from the Environment Agency may have brought a sense of loss to many in the contaminated land (and wider) community but it has provided a stimulus to environmental search providers to issue open environmental data viewers with some limited tools, such as a distance measure. They may be easy to use and may provide a useful “look-see” to help you gather some pre-intelligence on your sites but can you interact spatially with any historical site investigation data or the expanding open datasets out there? Can you add your own knowledge to a static data viewer platform, such as walkover photographs, borehole logs, annotations or generate your own 3D model for the site integrating the latest offering of LIDAR data? Will you be able to evaluate any future site investigation data, utilise your AGS data more effectively, delineate groundwater contamination plumes, animate your time-series gas monitoring data, evaluate risks more effectively, calculate subsequent remediation volumes, costs, monitor and clearly communicate site verification?

    Hence, the demise of WIYBY also provides a stimulus to companies and regulators looking to more effectively utilise their own datasets and integrate them with environmental datasets to make use of open source GIS options such as QGIS.

    So you can be in control of What’s In Your very own Backyard (WIYvoBY) for all of your projects, to develop your initial conceptual site model, plan your preliminary or staged site investigations (SI), interpret and communicate any risks or verification, to improve efficiency in regulatory decision making, volume calculations and costs to clients.

    If the potential cost of buying and maintaining GIS software or a lack of training is a potential problem then find out more about the upcoming LQM training course: 5th June 2018  Getting value from your data: a hands on GIS Course  or view this Video for more information.

  4. The Lesson of Brian …. caveat emptor …

    Whether you have been following the intricacies of rural life at Ambridge on the BBC series The Archers or not the concept of “caveat emptor”  is an important one, especially for worried Brian who has just been interviewed under caution by the Environment Agency in connection with contamination of the (fictional) River Am being linked to the floating dead fish found by Kirsty on 14th January 2018 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09lylpr).

    In real-life, a diesel leak in 2012 in Dorset at Christchurch hospital  resulting in groundwater contamination has, this week, resulted in fines and costs of £180,000 to two sub-contractors, for offences under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/contractors-fined-over-diesel-leak-at-christchurch-hospital).

    Thus the important lesson of understanding risks from land contamination has been highlighted in several places in the media recently and illustrates the need to do research on land being purchased and importance of environmental permitting regulations to prevent your site investigation or other contracting activities from affecting the local environment. Therefore, all those involved with land (including Brian) – owners, operators, contractors, insurers, lenders, consultants and regulators need to understand how land can become contaminated, the legislation surrounding it, and what to do if contamination is suspected.

    LQMs long running 5-day training course Introduction to Contaminated Land provides all this and more. This ever popular training series starts again on the 6th February 2018 in the 2 and 3 days format (6-7th and 13-15th February 2018) with some places still available. All days include practical sessions to cement understanding and the sessions also provide the opportunity to meet and network other players in the industry. Delegates can attend individual days but booking all 5-Days and pay online provides the best available value (i.e. 5 days for the price of 3).

    For details follow links below, all courses held at our Nottingham training venue (located at the former Rayleigh factory):

    Other currently scheduled courses:

  5. Risk Assessment November … LQM training courses update (2017)

    November is a busy training month for LQM which includes the ever popular suite of risk assessment and GIS 1-day training courses. Most of the courses are hands-on training experiences led by the course tutor (CLEA v1.071, QGIS and Hydro courses) with delegates learning how to make more effective use of some of the most readily available risk assessment and data visualisation tools available to us in the contaminated land sector. The aim is to learn by doing and picking up useful tips along the way.

    For details follow links below, all courses held at our Nottingham training venue with a hot lunch and refreshments provided:

  6. New and updated ground gas course: meet an industry expert

    In early October, LQM are again partnering with Steve Wilson (from EPG ltd) to deliver a training course on the investigation and mitigation of ground gas.  Steve is a world-respected authority on ground gas and author of many of the current guidance documents.

    This time around the course has been updated to include new sections on:

    • Getting the most from continuous monitoring technologies (including monitoring of flow rates);
    • Addressing the 40 ml/m2/day/atm requirement for gas membranes in BS8485:2015;
    • Latest research on piles and other preferential pathways fro ground gases.

    The course is open to delegates of all levels from both regulatory and industry sectors.

    For full details and to book your place, please go to www.lqm.co.uk/training/gasintro/

  7. Did you know LQM run courses nationwide in conjunction with EMAQ+?

    EMAQ+ and Land Quality Management Ltd (LQM) are working together in partnership to offer a programme of contaminated land seminars for local authorities at 3 venues across England; Leeds, London and Birmingham.  The training, in a formal classroom environment, provides opportunities to work with expert trainers on realistic practical exercises, ask questions, and network with colleagues undertaking similar work in other local authorities. The training is endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

    EMAQ+, part of Ricardo Energy & Environment, also provide a range of other seminars covering courses providing professional development training and technical guidance to assist Environmental Protection Officers implement their LA-IPPC/LAPPC and Local Air Quality Management responsibilities.  The contaminated land seminars further extent this remit to include considering land contamination issues under either Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or the planning regimes.

    In 2017/18, LQM/EMAQ+ are delivering a series of five ‘Essentials’ seminars (syllabus detailed here), which is based on our ever-popular 5-day series,  and some additional ‘Introduction to Chemistry’ Seminars (dates and venues can be viewed here). ). So if you are looking for a different venue or date why not look to see if EMAQ+ offer a more accessible alternative.

    The training is just for local authority delegates and can be booked even if your authority is not part of the EMAQ+ subscription scheme.  The cost for “non-member” delegates is currently £295 excl. VAT.  For full details, and to book places, please go to the EMAQ+ website  or email emaq@ricardo.com for further details.

  8. New staff or in need of expanding your contaminated land skill set? LQM Courses for Autumn 2017 updated …

    The ever popular 5-Day ‘Introduction to contaminated land’ series starts in 2 weeks in the 2 and 3 days format (6-7th and 12-14th September 2017) with some places still available. As always book all 5-Days and pay online to get the best available prices (i.e. 5 days for the price of 3 days).

    Other courses by popular demand have also been added (Ground Gas & Vapours, CLEA, Asbestos, GIS & Hydrogeology). For details follow links below, all courses held at our Nottingham training venue: