The Government risks harming public health by removing Local Authority grants to clean up contaminated brownfield land, warns Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee, which Mary chairs, in a report it published today on the health of UK soil.
Mary said: “Soil is a Cinderella environmental issue. It doesn’t receive as much attention as air pollution, water quality or climate change. But, whether we realise it or not, society relies on healthy soil for the food we eat, for flood prevention, and for storing carbon. The Government says it wants our soil to be managed sustainably by 2030, but there is no evidence that it is putting in place the policies to make this happen.”
The inquiry found that the Government risks harming public health by removing local authority grants to clean up contaminated brownfield land. It cost £383,000 to clean up one site alone in Wakefield, where homes had been built on contaminated land. The Government's cuts to funding for investigation and remediation - the process of cleaning up contaminated land - have severely undermined local councils' ability to tackle this problem.