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  • Writer's pictureLand Insight

Potentially Contaminating Activities (PCA)

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Land Insight has mapped over 400,000+ location of potentially contaminating sites, creating the most comprehensive databases of Potentially Contaminating Activities (PCA) on the market.

Potentially Contaminating Activities (PCAs)

When conducting a contamination assessment, one of the first steps you take is to undertake a desktop assessment and identify the current land uses on and around the site. So how does this relate to site contamination?

Historic and current land uses are one of the most likely predictors of land contamination available and land uses or activities that are identified as having an increased likelihood of causing contamination are referred to as Potentially Contaminating Activities, or PCAs.

These PCAs not only provide us with general information about what chemicals may have been used on the site but the processes used at this type of activity. Knowledge of previous PCAs and the source of contamination is essential for the consultant to effectively investigate and manage contamination impacts on a site.

What are PCAs?

At Land Insight, we have categorised the PCAs into business types, industries or activities that have been identified as having an increased likelihood of causing contamination and have over 400,000 PCAs identified across the country in a database that is continuously expanding with new businesses and historic information being added daily.

Many of these are considered notifiable activities, or activities that require regulation to currently operate one of these businesses. Examples include large operations and industries like chemical manufacturing, oil and gas processing, waste disposal, power stations, timber and paper mills to name a few, but other activities can be smaller premises such as dry cleaners, mechanics, spray painters and other smaller businesses who handle or work with hazardous substances.

Our PCA database systematically identified and classified sites into 50 different categories (see table below). The categories were created based on nationwide notifiable activities, and using published state and national guidelines and regulations as a reference.

The industries and business activities listed above have been identified as having an increased likelihood of causing contamination and have been identified through published state and national guidelines and regulations. The identification of these activities does not imply the presence of contamination at the site.

Understanding the PCAs and subsequentially potential sources of contamination on and around your site will give you that knowledge to confidently determine the nature of the risk you are likely to encounter and the information you need to guide your clients to a cost and time effective solution for investigation and management of the site. Land Insight is the only company to provide a comprehensive list of PCAs as part of our desktop reporting. This complete mapping and tabulation of data can be accessed through our Due Diligence Insight Report and give you the edge to effectively assess contamination at your site.


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