LQM is a specialist environmental consultancy based in Nottingham (UK) with an international reputation for assessing and managing the risks posed to human health and the environment by contaminants in soil. Increasingly this is being done within a context of sustainable development and specifically sustainable brownfield regeneration.

We provide consultancy, peer review and expert witness services, contract research and training courses on all aspects of the management of land contamination to problem holders, developers and local government.

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Where we came from

LQM's history can be traced back to 1991 when Colin Ferguson joined the Faculty of Environmental Studies at the Nottingham Trent University to form the Centre for Research into the Built Environment (CRBE). Soon after CRBE was formed, Jacqui Marsh and Dr Ammar Abbachi joined to work with Colin on Department of the Environment (DOE) funded research into sampling strategies and human health risk assessment. The team quickly established a reputation for high quality relevant work. An influential paper in Ground Engineering was followed by the publication of the DOE CLR4 report on sampling strategies. However, it was the work on the Contaminated Land Exposure Assessment (CLEA) model that is the group’s enduring legacy. The CLEA model was designed to produce guideline values for use by regulators and was the first such model to adopt a probabilistic approach.

In 1992 Dr Paul Bardos joined CRBE to head up the Waste and Soil Treatment Division. Paul came from Warren Spring Laboratory and brought with him Ian Martin. High profile work included a review of soil remediation for the Royal Commission on Environmental Protection, participation in the NATO CCMS study on remediation and in formulating the concept that resulted in the formation of CLAIRE. Paul now runs his own company – r3 Environmental while Ian now works for the Environment Agency
Dr Naomi Earl joined CRBE in September 1994, initially to work on an EU-funded project examining the preservation of archaeological artifacts in contaminated soil, but subsequently specialising in human health exposure assessment. Naomi is now an independent consultant.

Dr Paul Nathanail joined in September 1994 to head up work in geoenvironmental engineering. He initiated the Masters in Contaminated Land Management that was set up as an MSc at Nottingham Trent and was then transferred to the University of Nottingham .

In December 1997 Colin and Paul set up Land Quality Management Ltd (LQM), with Paul as the founding Managing Director.

In October 1998, Colin along with all LQM and CRBE staff moved from NTU to the University of Nottingham. LQM Press was established to publish specialist books and reports of interest to the contaminated land management and sustainable regeneration community.

Very sadly, Professor Colin Ferguson died after a long battle with cancer in August 1999, but LQM has continued his work.

LQM was initially based on the main university campus but in 2003 we moved to offices within the Beeston Business Centre. Subsequently, in 2011, LQM moved to our current home within the Sir Colin Campbell Building; part of the University of Nottingham Innovation Park offering state-of-the-art buildings designed to provide a bridge between SMEs and large businesses and the universities cutting edge research.

Since 1997 there have been many changes in the team, but LQM has continued to maintain its position at the forefront of the UK contaminated land community.

Dr Ken Westlake joined in 1997 to work on waste management projects and developed a varied workload, with a particular emphasis on DFID and World Bank projects. Ken now runs his own company – Westlake Associates. Dr Bob Gregory took over as head of waste and now also runs his own company - Gregory Environmental Consultants.
For many years, Caroline McCaffrey headed up LQM's contaminated land team and developed a very strong reputation among local authority contaminated land officers through her delivery of training to them. She now works for North East Derbyshire District Council.

Other alumni include Dr Duncan Scott, now at Vertase FLI, and Neil Foster, now with Iluka Resources in Australia.

Long serving members of staff include Dr Richard Ogden who co-authored the Ciria C733 guide on asbestos in soil and Dr Andy Gillett who developed the renegade nanoparticle risk assessment tool for the EU NanoRem project. Judith Nathanail is driving the company's forays into data analytics and renewable energy.

Key highlights include the two editions of the SNIFFER Method, three editions of LQM/CIEH generic assessment criteria, release of the LQM/CIEH Dose Response Roadmaps, pioneering the use of bioaccessibility in human heatlh risk assessment, leading the development of the ISO 18504:2017 on sustainable remediation... and meeting so many regulators, consultants, developers on the myriad of training courses we continue to deliver.

December 2018 saw LQM marking its 21st birthday. Paul delivered a webinar to reflect on these 21 years. A recording is available at [URL].