Criteria for Preliminary risk assessment of Brownfield Site: An international survey of experts

Charf Mahammedi*, Lamine Mahdjoubi, Colin Booth, Russell Bowman, Talib E. Butt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Comprehensive risk assessment of brownfield sites requires a broad range of knowledge and multi-disciplinary expertise. Whilst the identification of criteria requirements for preliminary risk assessment has received some attention, there appears to be no studies that have specifically examined professional perspectives relating to these requirements. Yet, variations in professional practitioners’ assessments may have significant consequences for the assessment of risks, and how the criteria are imparted to stakeholders. This study aims to identify the criteria requirements for preliminary risk assessment, using the pollutant linkage model (Source–Pathway–Receptor), and explores cross-disciplinary professional perspectives related to these requirements. To this end, this study commenced with a systematic review to identify various criteria streams required for the preliminary risk assessment of brownfield sites. Thereafter, a questionnaire survey was design and shared with brownfield site professionals. Quantitative analysis of the survey responses (n = 76) reveals disciplines have markedly different priorities relating to the same hazard. For instance, geophysicists, geochemists, and hydrologists do not raise concerns regarding ground movement that can result from the removal of storage and tanks, whilst the same hazard was considered as having a high importance by other professions (such as geologists and geotechnical engineers). This example, amongst others revealed in the study, underpins potential issues and implications for various stakeholders compiling and/or using preliminary risk assessment criteria. This study clarifies both the key criteria requirements for the preliminary risk assessment of brownfield sites, as well as the importance of recognising how variation in professionals’ perceptions plays in the risk assessment process. Although, specialist knowledge is essential for brownfield site investigation, so is the maintaining a broad-based view of other experts coming from different backgrounds, as this renders holistic risk assessment insights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-696
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume70
Issue number4
Early online date4 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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