The dynamics of the development of techniques for the remedial treatment of contaminated land
The aiin of this research is to investigate the process by which techniques for the remedial treatment of contaminated land evolve. This is accomplished through the study of the relationships between: environmental policy and law; industrial practice; and research and development. Previous studies of the barriers and driving forces of such development have tended to be from a technical point of view. However, this research aims to explore the dynamics of technological innovation. Structured interviews, questionnaires and case studies were used to collect qualitative data from a cross section of the contaminated land industry. Interview transcripts were produced and subsequently, after consultation with the interviewees, presented as synoptic summaries including contextual information. Ile interview, questionnairea nd case study information is critically assessedw ith referencet o relevant contextual information. The following areas are discussed: public opinion; regulation and policy; uncertainty and development; political lobbying; measures intended to stimulate the use of treatment techniques; and, the relationship between vendors, consultants and property developers. It is concluded that: the development of treatment techniques is dependent upon the incremental accumulation of knowledge by politicians, scientists and the developers of remedial treatment techniques and that differences in these phenomena can result in "friction" in relation to the development of remedial treatment techniques. Particular emphasis is placed upon the adoption of pragmatic, deregulatory approachest o the regulation of contaminatedl and and the adoption of risk managementa pproachesI.t is emphasised that uncertainty relating to the performance of treatment techniques remains, particularly in relation to treatment time and cost. It is concluded that the commercial success of a treatment technique depends as much upon its ability to comply with the managerial constraints on the redevelopment process as upon its technical proficiency.