Defra launches Code of Practice for the Sustainable Use of Soils on Construction Sites
24th September 2009
One commitment in Defra’s Soil Strategy is for the Government to publish a code of practice for the sustainable management of soils on construction sites. The Code was launched today hot on the heels of the new Soil Strategy and is based on work for Defra by Land Research Associates (LRA) as part of project SOIL 126. This project followed earlier research by LRA for Defra into the Use of Surplus Soils in Construction Sites.
The Code has been jointly published by Defra, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Waste Resources Action Plan (WRAP) and developed in collaboration with a number of Agencies (including the Environment Agency, Highways Agency and Natural England) and the construction industry.
Soil is a fundamental and ultimately finite resource that fulfils a number of functions and services for society that are central to sustainability. The construction of new buildings and infrastructure can damage soil in a number of ways and restrict its ability to deliver these essential functions and services, which include water infiltration, flood mitigation and protection of valuable biodiversity and landscapes.
The aim of the Code is to give the construction sector guidance on the ways in which various soil threats should be minimised and managed on construction sites, in particular soil erosion and soil compaction, and to provide additional guidance on preventing soil contamination.
In support of the Code of Practice, ‘Toolbox Talks’ – one page summaries with key information from the Construction Code – have also been developed as a downloadable resource. These could be utilised as appropriate, including for training, presentations and A3 or A4 posters. Electronic versions of the Soil Strategy, the Construction Code and ‘Toolbox Talks’ can be found on the Defra website at:
Construction Code of Practice:
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