In 2011, SoBRA established a number of subgroups to work on specific topics with the aim of providing guidance and tools of potential benefit to land contamination practitioners. Our currently active subgroups are listed below.
If you would like to become involved in a subgroup then please email: [email protected]


Technical Panel

Increasingly SoBRA is being asked to review and comment not only upon draft standards (UK and European) but also upon changing UK guidance. SoBRA has a core aim to assist in the development of future guidance, either through coordinated responses to consultation documents or by providing direct input to guidance.

SoBRA currently has a standards Subgroup, but this sub-group does not currently have a remit to review all guidance changes taking place. The sub-group also struggles to deliver timely commentary as it not have an extensive sub-group member base to call upon.

We therefore wish to invite all members qualified as ASoBRA to join a newly formed ‘SoBRA Technical Review Panel’.
The ‘SoBRA Technical Panel’ would be invited at an early opportunity to contribute to and shape the content of draft standards and UK guidance. It is not intended that this panel replaces the existing standards sub-group but would simply extend the numbers and widen its remit.

Please see the Terms of Reference for further details.



Following the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and SoBRA’s 2013 summer workshop on asbestos in soil the sub-group is now active. The group is writing up the summer workshop and is also developing the exposure scenarios that were commenced in the summer workshop. Once the workshop is written up the group will continue to develop these scenarios and other risk assessment techniques to support the JIWG chapter on risk assessment of asbestos in soil. The group would particularly like to hear from anyone with asbestos in soil, dust and asbestos in air concentrations so please get in touch via [email protected].


Acute Generic Assessment Criteria

In the UK, the assessment of risks to humans from land contamination has tended to focus on chronic exposure scenarios. However, focusing on chronic exposure may not always be protective of potential acute exposure scenarios, especially in non-residential settings, and/or if statistical methods are used to interpret site soil data. The overall aim of this sub-group is to develop Acute Generic Assessment Criteria (AGACs) to assist in assessing this issue, perhaps via their direct comparison with site-related maximum values. The AGAC working group is exploring this issue in more detail and will make recommendations on how AGACs could be calculated and used. The aim is also to produce a set of example AGACs for a selection of potential soil contaminants.



The purpose of the group is to inform its members of developments in standards relevant to risk assessment. The aim is to influence, contribute and provide support to national and international draft guidance.
SoBRA is a member organisation of EH/4, the technical committee responsible for British Standards and the UK input into ISO/TC190 and CEN/TC345 for International/European standardisation in the field of soil quality. The group would welcome anyone interested in influencing standards that are related to risk assessment. Providing active participation in standardisation is important to ensure views of those with expertise in this field are represented and standards produced are relevant, valid and technically sound.