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BGS Question and Answer

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BGS – Legal Obligations Regarding Drilling

Many Members of the AGS received a letter on the 31st May referring to legal obligations regarding drilling and the submission of borehole logs to the BGS. Clarification was sought to ascertain the legal position with regard to boreholes drilled for the purposes of soil analysis for engineering and scientific purposes for the construction industry.

Are there any legal obligations for submitting these records to the BGS?

Roderick Bowie from BGS replied:

“The legal obligations in England Scotland and Wales only apply to those boreholes covered by the Water Resources Act and the Mining Industry Act.  These include some types of monitoring boreholes and geothermal bores  This does not cover boreholes drilled for engineering or construction purposes although we would be pleased to accept this type of information and already do so from a wide variety of different sources including the Geotechnical Industry.  In fact recognising this gap in the legislation the Government did encourage local authorities to deposit this type of information with us, the aim being to help to ‘add to the value of the advice given by the Survey’.  Part of the contractual arrangement between the Highways Agency and their Consultants/Contractors is that a full copy of the factual sections of any report produced as part of their Ground Investigation work is supplied to the Survey. This has included for some time the digital data in standard AGS format.

Many companies are concerned about passing client information to the BGS, but we can and do keep information Commercial in Confidence if requested and some of our donors write into their contracts that data will be deposited with us if the clients don’t object.

There is different legislation in Northern Ireland where all boreholes over 20m are notifiable and records must be kept irrespective of the type or reason for drilling.”