Preventing Pollution at New Burial Sites

October 31, 2023
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As part of a revised approach to regulating new cemetery developments the Environment Agency recently updated their guidance on undertaking groundwater risk assessment for human and animal burials.

A groundwater risk assessment for burial in a cemetery, individual burials and the burial of pets and animal carcasses can be required in the following circumstances:

  • As part of a planning application or condition
  • As part of an environmental permit application
  • When altering existing facilities
  • Following a pollution incident
  • When ongoing environmental management of the site is needed, for example disposal of grey water

Environment Agency guidance sets out where and Environmental permit is required for new and existing cemeteries and minimum good practice groundwater protection measures.

Guidance can be found on the Gov.UK website at:

Undertaking groundwater risk assessments:

Protecting groundwater from human burials:

Conditions that new cemetery developments, or new extensions, can operate under without needing an environmental permit:

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