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Criteria for preliminary risk assessment of Brownfield site: An international survey of experts

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


Charf Mahammedi

Colin Booth
AHOD in Research/ Associate Professor

Russell Bowman

Talib E Butt


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.


Mahammedi, C., Mahdjoubi, L., Booth, C., Bowman, R., & Butt, T. E. (2022). Criteria for preliminary risk assessment of Brownfield site: An international survey of experts. Environmental Management, 70, 681–696.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 8, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 4, 2022
Publication Date 2022-10
Deposit Date Aug 23, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 23, 2022
Journal Environmental Management
Print ISSN 0364-152X
Electronic ISSN 1432-1009
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 70
Pages 681–696
Keywords Decision-making, Pollutant linkage model, Site investigation, Brownfield sites, Preliminary risk assessment, Professional perception
Public URL
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