ESI Ltd has released a new version of the Contaminated Land Statistical Calculator to aid the effective dissemination and take-up of the new national guidance on the use of statistical tests in the assessment of soil contamination data (http://www.claire.co.uk/). The aim of the guidance is to increase the understanding of practitioners of the role that statistics play in quantifying the uncertainty around estimates of average contaminant concentrations. It is part of the revised guidance on dealing with land contamination promised by DEFRA’s ‘Way Forward’ in 2006, and ESI contributed to the development of this guidance on behalf of Defra.
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ESI provided a software tool application for the statistical tests to support the local authorities of England and Wales on behalf of the Chartered Institution of Environmental Health (CIEH). The new version of the ESI Statistical Calculator provides the same core functionality as the tool provided to CIEH members, so practitioners can use the software with confidence that the answers they obtain will be the same as those that would be obtained by a local authority.
The software is designed to answer the following questions:
- How does my site concentration data compare to a critical concentration or threshold of relevance to my site?
- Does my data provide confidence that concentrations are definitely below or above a critical concentration?
- Do I have enough samples to demonstrate that remediation is or is not required?
The guidance sets out step-by-step procedures for conducting statistical tests when assessing soil data in the context of either the land use planning system or Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The intention is that the statistics calculator will help users to conduct these statistical techniques when comparing soil contamination data to a critical concentration as part of wider contaminated land risk assessment projects in both of these legal contexts.
The Contaminated Land Statistical Calculator consists of a series of linked Excel-based, macro-supported worksheets which allow fast and efficient data processing. Several data sets can be analysed in the same workbook, to optimise your work flow.
Version 2 of the Contaminated Land Statistical Calculator has the following additional enhancements and benefits:
- The ability to handle an increased data set size (up to 20 contaminants and 500 samples).
- The addition of a powerful new function to allow statistical tests to be applied to discrete data sub-sets based on user defined criteria (e.g. restricting the tests to specific sample depths, sampling areas or geological units).
- Automatic detection of the applicability of Grubb’s Outlier Test for each dataset.
The Contaminated Land Statistical Calculator comes with a full manual, with examples on how to implement the tests in the national guidance. Please contact ESI for information on multiple-copy discounts which are available to the same organisation within the same country.