A number of regulatory regimes now require an ecological risk assessment (ERA) to be carried out. All these regimes are concerned, in one way or another, with assessing the risk of significant harm to an organism, an animal or a whole ecosystem. To ensure consistency in ERA, Defra and the EA have developed an ERA framework for use in land quality assessments.
The framework offers a series of tiered activities, decisions and actions that provide a practical match between available resources and the severity of a land contamination problem. It allows decisions to be made rationally, consistently and transparently and forms the basis for discussions between the relevant parties (these may include: site owners, regulatory authorities and the local community).
- Main report: An ecological risk assessment framework for contaminants in Soil (SC070009/SR1) (PDF, 6.8MB) - September 2008
- Summary: ecological risk assessment (PDF, 57KB) - October 2008
- Assessing Risks to Ecosystems from Land Contamination. R&D Technical Report P299. EA, 2002. (INFO-RA2- 5a) (PDF, 8MB)
- Review of Sublethal Ecotoxicological Tests for Measuring Harm in Terrestrial Ecosystems, P5-063/TR1. EA, 2002. (INFO-RA2-5b) (PDF, 10MB)
- Ecological Risk Assessment, R&D Technical Report P5-069/TR1. EA, 2003. (INFO-RA2-5c) (PDF, 600KB) - Dec 2003
- Soil Screening Values for use in Ecological Risk Assessment R&D Technical Report P5-091/TR. EA, 2004. (INFO-RA2-5d) (PDF, 707KB)
- Guidance on desk studies and conceptual site models for ecological risk assessment (PDF, 7MB) - October 2008
- Guidance on the use of Soil Screening Values for Ecological Risk Assessment (PDF, 6.3MB) - October 2008
- Guidance on the use of Bioassays in Ecological Risk Assessment (PDF, 6.3MB) - October 2008
- Guidance on the attribution of Cause and Effect in Ecological Risk Assessment (PDF, 6KB) - October 2008
- Guidance on the use of Ecological Surveys in Ecological Risk Assessment (PDF, 6.4MB) - October 2008
- Soil Screening Values for Assessing Ecological Risk: Summary - (PDF, 134KB) - November 2017
- Derivation and Use of Soil Screening Values for Assessing Ecological Risk: Report - (PDF, 1.15MB) - November 2017
- Soil Screening Values for Assessing Ecological Risk: Tool - (MS Excel Spreadsheet) - November 2017