Ireland - Services


Contaminated Land & Remediation

Our professional team of contaminated land specialists provide comprehensive, commercially focused advice in relation to the assessment and management of contaminated land across a broad range of sectors and project stages; from pre purchase due diligence advice through to planning applications and construction phase support.

RPS is a leading advisor to public and private sectors in designing environmentally sound solutions for the remediation of historic unregulated landfills.

Our team has delivered contaminated land solutions for a wide range of clients including residential, commercial and renewables developers, investors, lenders, local and national government and blue chip international companies. We are currently undertaking the largest contaminated land project in Ireland as consultants to the Cork local authorities on the former Irish Steel site at Haulbowline.

Our services include:

Desk Top Studies / Preliminary Risk Assessments

Ground Investigations

Human Health, Controlled Water and Gas Risk Assessments

Asbestos Risk Assessments

Groundwater Contaminant Fate and Transport Modelling (Controlled Waters Risk Assessment)

Abnormal Cost Assessments

Radioactivity Surveys

Remediation Option Appraisals and Design

Remediation Specification and Contract Procurement and Management

Remediation Supervision and Verification

GIS and CAD Modelling

Site Waste Management Plans

Material Management Plans

Waste Characterisation

Soil Permeability Testing

Case Studies

Asbestos Contaminated Soil



RPS was engaged by Clare County Council to advise on potential asbestos contamination at nine sites.

Our team provided expert consultancy services relating to potential asbestos contamination at nine sites in the Kilkee and Kilrush areas of County Clare.

RPS procured and managed the site investigation contract to determine the extent of the potential asbestos contamination, including the presence of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) and fibres within the soil matrix. Extensive air monitoring was also required.

RPS developed remediation options for each site in line with legislative requirements, best practice, and health & safety practices. The project involved liaison with key stakeholders including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Health & Safety Authority and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Development of Environmental Liability Directive



RPS has written a Guidance Document for the Irish EPA on the Environmental Liability Directive 2004/35/CE (ELD).

This Directive reinforces the "polluter pays principle" – requiring complementary and compensatory remediation if primary remediation cannot restore environmental damage to baseline conditions. The Directive imposes strict liability on all major industrial, waste management and energy-producing activities that have environmental pollution permits or licences – and includes a mandatory requirement to take preventive action if there is an imminent threat of environmental damage.

RPS reviewed guidance developed in other European Member States and developed practical guidance specific to Ireland. The guidance incorporates a strong risk management focus to prevent environmental damage, which is a primary objective of the Directive.

Our expertise in ecology, water management and contaminated land combined with a proven track record in developing practical national policy and guidance documents was critical in delivering high quality guidance for the EPA.

Haulbowline Island East Tip Remediation Project



Haulbowline Island was the location of Ireland’s only steelworks which operated between 1939 and 2001. From the early 1960s, waste from the steel production process was deposited on an area of reclaimed foreshore, which became known as the ‘East Tip’.

The East Tip predominantly comprises stockpiles of waste slag and mill scale throughout the 9 hectare site. The overall Haubowline Island Remediation Project represents a multimillion Euro investment by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, through their agent Cork County Council. The island, which is also home to the Irish Naval Service, only has one land-based access point across two bridges and this infrastructure also needed significant upgrades to facilitate the remediation project.

RPS provided environmental and engineering consultancy services for the preparation of an outline remediation design, EIS, waste licence application and planning application for the East Tip. A planning application for the remediation of the East Tip and its transformation into a public recreational amenity was approved by An Bord Pleanála in May 2014 and a waste licence was subsequently granted by the EPA in July 2014. RPS is also providing design, procurement and contract management services to facilitate the delivery of the remediation solution.

Remedial works designed by RPS began in 2014 with the repair of the bridges to the island and the upgrading of the access road. Most recently, RPS has managed a number of advance works contracts (including demolition, site clearance and preparatory works) through detailed design and construction completion. The main remediation works contract commenced construction in July 2017 and is delivering a sustainable design solution through re-profiling of the site, construction of a perimeter engineered structure around the East Tip and installation of engineered capping and surface water drainage systems. The ultimate landscape masterplan which is currently being delivered will comprise a public parkland amenity with picturesque views of Cork Harbour. It is envisaged that construction work will be substantially complete by the end of 2018.

Kinsale Road Landfill – Final Capping



RPS completed the final landfill capping at the former Kinsale Road Landfill site, facilitating its transformation into an attractive and safe public amenity.

Kinsale Road Landfill operated as a municipal landfill from the early 1960s until closure in 2009, with over 3.5 million tonnes of waste landfilled on site. The engineering remediation project transformed the site from operational landfill to a multi-faceted parkland amenity called Tramore Valley Park. Key amenities delivered for the local community include BMX tracks, 5km of paths and trails, multi-use events space, sports pitch and a pavilion building.

Our services included:

Detailed design of landfill capping works, leachate and landfill gas infrastructure

Surface water system design

Design of internal access roads, pavilion building, parking, playing field and landscaped areas

Contract and construction administration

The works were designed with an understanding of landfill processes. The pavilion building was designed to mitigate the risks of landfill gas migration. It is constructed on piled foundations with a ventilated sub-floor void and an internal gas detection system.

Landfill gas is captured and used to generate electricity on site. The project also involved innovative reuse of construction and demolition waste, as park benches were formed from gabion cages filled with crushed concrete, recycled from demolished grain silos in the Cork City docklands.