Common Forum Newsletter nr. 55 - July 24th, 2014
by Dr. D. Darmendrail


Next CF meeting in Napoli, IT

CF meeting in Berlin, DE

SustRem 2014

CF members turnover

News from ICCL

News from AquaConSoil 2015

News from European Commission

News from CL:AIRE

Eugris corner

Documents of interest

Books, articles & abstract proceedings of interest

Forthcoming events


Dear Colleagues,

Last May we met in Berlin for the Spring 2014 CF meeting and a very successful Joint workshop with NICOLE. It was the occasion to discuss with other stakeholder communities the European policy framework on contaminated land and its influence on integrated and sustainable land management. Many thanks to all contributors.

Since Berlin, we finalised a CF position paper on the IED baseline report guidance that was distributed to EC representatives and answers to a couple of consultations and questionnaires.

Italy (the current EU presidency) is hosting the Autumn 2014 meeting. The Napoli meeting will be the occasion to further discuss technical and research issues.

Looking forward to meeting you all in Napoli.

Enjoy your summer time!




The next
will be held in NAPOLI, Italy,

on 09–10 October 2014

Draft Agenda and registration form
now available.



Latest COMMON FORUM meeting was held on May 13-14, 2014 in Berlin, Germany back to back to the 2nd NICOLE and COMMON FORUM Joint Workshop and to the NICOLE Network Meeting. All related documents are now available:



Provisional program and instructions for presentations

The provisional version of the program and the instructions for presentations are available on:




Recent changes of national representations within the COMMON FORUM:

  • United-Kingdom - April 2014: Maggie Charnley to replace Morwenna Carrington, Defra.
  • Denmark - July 2014: Morten Sorensen to replace Leo Ellgard. Danish region - Information Centre on Contaminated Sites.
  • Portugal - July 2014: Regina Vilao is a new COMMON FORUM member. Agencia Portuguesa do Ambiente - Division of Environmental Liability and Contaminated Soils.
  • Turkey - July 2014: Burcu Gungor is a new COMMON FORUM member. Ondokuz Mayis University - Fac. of Engineering - Environmental Eng. Dept.

See also: COMMON FORUM Members List



The Law Applicable To Contaminated Land In South Africa
Full article on:
and more information on:

When the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 59 of 2008 ("NEMWA") came into operation, in July 2009, the operation Part 8 of Chapter 4 (the "Contaminated Land Provisions") was deferred to a later date. In terms of a recent government gazette,1 the Contaminated Land Provisions will now come into operation on 2 May 2014.

NEMWA provides that "contaminated" in relation to land means:

"the presence in or under any land, site, buildings or structures of a substance or micro-organism above the concentration that is normally present in or under that land, which substance or micro-organism directly or indirectly affects or may affect the quality of soil or the environment adversely".

The Contaminated Land Provisions apply even if the contamination occurred before the commencement of NEMWA; originated on land that has not been assessed for contamination; arises or is likely to arise at a different time from the actual activity that caused the contamination; or, arises through an act or activity of a person that results in a change to pre-existing contamination.

Among the important consequences of the operation of these provisions are the requirements for notification of contamination; consequences of identification and notification of contaminated land; and, transfer of contaminated land.

EPA Releases Final Risk Assessment on Trichloroethylene (TCE)

The final risk assessment for TCE identified health risks from TCE exposures to consumers using spray aerosol degreasers and spray fixatives. It also identifies health risks to workers when TCE is used as a degreaser in small commercial shops and as a stain removing agent in dry cleaning. The final TCE risk assessment was developed as part of the agency's Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan, which identified chemicals for review and assessment of potential risks to people's health and the environment.

EPA developed the draft TCE risk assessment based on the best available information and finalized the assessment after careful consideration of comments from the public and experts during an independent, scientific peer review of the assessment. TCE is the first chemical to complete the work plan risk assessment process under TSCA. EPA is conducting a workshop from July 29-30, on potential TCE degreaser alternatives and risk reduction approaches. EPA will conduct other activities to address TCE uses as a stain removing agent in dry cleaning and as a clear protective spray fixative.

Source: TechDirect July 1, 2014

New Adjuncts to ASTM Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups
ASTM E2893-13e1

ASTM Incorporated recently released two adjuncts that facilitate use of the Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups. One adjunct is the Appendix X2 "Technical Summary Form" as a writable PDF (ADJE289301). The second adjunct is the Appendix X3 "Greener Cleanup BMPs" table containing over 160 best management practices (BMPs) in an Excel format (ADJE289302). With the Excel format, users can sort BMPs applying to particular remediation technologies and core elements and add more BMPs. These adjunct files are available to purchase from ASTM separately or at a reduced rate with the standard.

Source: TechDirect July 1, 2014



13th International Conference on Groundwater-Soil-Systems and Water Resource Management will be held on 9-12 June 2015 in Copenhagen, DK.

Logo_ACS_2015.jpgAquaConSoil 2015 provides great opportunities for scientists, companies and policy makers to extend and enforce their network, start new cooperation activities and be informed of and inspired by the latest developments in the field of sustainable use and management of soil, sediment and (ground)water resources.

Preliminary principal topics for the conference program are:

Dealing with Contamination: Assessment and monitoring • Risk assessment • Remediation • Management, Functions of Soil and Groundwater: New subsurface activities • Competing claims • Win-win situations.

The AquaConSoil program will offer Thematic Lecture Sessions, Poster Sessions, Special Sessions, Exhibition, Technical Tours, Courses and other accompanying side events.

AquaConSoil is organized by Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ and Deltares. Local co-organizer of the event is a strong consortium consisting of Danish scientists, policy makers, planners and practitioners, headed by the ATV Foundation of Soil and Groundwater



Alternative management practices (AMP) - Using soils to mitigate carbon emissions

JRC scientists find that making alternative uses of arable land could potentially help capture significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. They investigated the potential carbon sequestration by six of the most representative agricultural management practices on arable soils. The scientists have used a  high resolution pan-European simulation platform to assess the potential impact of those practices on SOC stock levels of arable soil under two IPCC cli­mate change scenarios to 2100: arable to grassland conversion (and vice versa), straw incor­poration, reduced tillage, straw incorporation with reduced tillage, ley cropping and cover crops.

According to the results of three policy simulations, the allocation of just 12% of arable land to different combinations of agricultural management practices would produce significant mitigation effects, which would be sufficient to reach the EU's target of cutting its emissions to 20% below of the 1990 levels by 2020.  Data available: The projected SOC baseline con­tent (t C ha-1 in 0-30 cm depth) of the arable land, where the following alternative manage­ment practices (AMP) are applied: AR_GR_LUC = conversion from arable to grassland; AR_RES = crop residue management; AR_RT = reduced tillage; AR_RET = crop residue + reduced tillage; AR_LEY = ley in rotation; AR_CC = cover crops.

Source: European Soil Portal - Newsletter n°66 - June 2014

Launch of European Soil Partnership

In the framework of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP), the process of establishing the regional soil partnership for Europe is taking place. This new European Soil Partnership (ESP) has been formally established during the last Global Soil Week in October 2013 and is aiming towards federating stakeholders and institutions in Europe willing to adopt the principles of the World Soil Charter. The European Commission, together with the institutions repre­sented in the steering committee of the ESP, has taken up the lead in organizing this new European initiative.

The aim is to bring together the various scattered networks and soil related activitiesinto a common framework, open to all institutions and stakeholders willing to actively contribute to sustainable soil management in Europe. As a first step the JRC convened the first plenary meeting of the ESP, 21-22 May 2014. The meeting was open to all interest­ed stakeholders and institutions and set the foundations for the future activities of the ESP. This meeting was organized in combination to the 2014 EIONET NRC Soil meeting that provided an update on where soil fits within the EEA multi-annual work programme

Source: European Soil Portal - Newsletter n°66 - June 2014

Persistence in Soil Analytical Model (PERSAM) software tool

The EFSA data page has been expanded with a download facility for the standalone Persistence in Soil Analytical Model (PERSAM) software tool for calculating the predicted environmental con­centrations (PEC) of plant protection products in soil. The tool assists the user in performing cal­culations using the analytic model, as described in the scientific opinion “EFSA Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues; Scientific Opinion on the science behind the guidance for scenario selection and scenario parameterisation for predicting environmental concentrations in soil”, EFSA Journal.

Source: European Soil Portal - Newsletter n°67 - July 2014



SuRF-UK Phase 3 work

SuRF-UK is delighted to announce the publication of its Phase 3 work which includes four key deliverables:  

  • SuRF-UK Bulletin 4 - This provides a short introduction to the Phase 3 outputs which are described in more detail below.  It includes the Sustainable Management Practices (SMP) document and the assessor's aid to preparing for sustainability assessment and carrying out a qualitative Tier 1 sustainability assessment. Download the summary bulletin
  • Sustainable Management Practices (SMPs) -  This report and supporting excel spreadsheet is aligned to the SuRF-UK sustainability indicator categories so that the same sustainability principles can underpin all aspects of land contamination management.  
  • Project Framing Guidance - This aims to help project managers and sustainability assessors to frame their approach for a sustainability assessment.  It includes two groups of activities: the preparation for a sustainability assessment followed by the definition of the sustainability assessment The guidance is provided in a formatted PDF slide set and is supported by a log book which can be used to collect summary information for each step of the framing procedure;
  • Tier 1 - Qualitative Assessment - This is an "entry level" sustainability assessment based on simple tables using qualitative categories.  It provides a slide deck procedure to follow with a series of checklists to help ensure that the framing is adequate for the sustainability assessment required. It is prepared as a formatted PDF slide set and is supported by a log book which can be used to collect summary information for each st



New documents on EUGRIS, the platform for European contaminated soil and water information. Resources, events projects and news items added on EUGRIS can be viewed at: Then select the appropriate month and year for the updates in which you are interested. However, here is a selection of new additions to EUGRIS prepared by Paul Bardos (r3 Environmental Technology Ltd) for COMMON FORUM members.



LIFE projects
Download from:

Although soil has not been a core theme of LIFE, the programme has funded many soil-related pro­jects since its launch in 1992, and there has been an increasing focus on soil protection since the publication of the Thematic Strategy in 2006.

LIFE has co-financed actions targeting erosion, land­slides, contamination, loss of soil organic matter, sealing, compaction, and other soil management issues. This LIFE Focus publication thus provides an opportunity to highlight and assess LIFE's im­portant contribution to date, including proposals for ways in which LIFE's outputs may be better channeled and  have an even greater impact in future. The publication includes an overview of soil policy, analysis of LIFE's contribution to its implementation and interviews that link soil science to policy-making to practical action.

Source: European Soil Portal - Newsletter n°63 - March 2014

ITRC Publishes New Web Based Guidance Document on Biochemical Reactors for Mining Influenced Water

A new ITRC web-based guidance document describes how biochemical reactors work, the contaminants treated, various designs, monitoring and maintenance requirements and schedules, and troubleshooting. Biochemical reactors are land-based engineered treatment systems that use an organic substrate to drive microbial and chemical reactions that reduce concentrations of metals, acidity, and sulfate in mining-influenced water. Fifteen case studies present real-world examples and include details such as volumes of water treated, substrates used, pH and metals concentrations, and biochemical reactor size.

ITRC also offers a free corresponding Internet-based training course on biochemical reactors.

See for more information and schedules for ITRC's Training Program.

Source: ITRC - May 28, 2014

European Hydropedological Data Inventory (EU-HYDI)
Download from:

There is a common need for reliable hydropedological information in Europe. The JRC lead a project to establish the European Hydropedological Data Inventory (EU-HYDI).

This database holds data from European soils focusing on soil physical, chemical and hydrological properties. It also contains information on geographical location, soil classification and land use/cover at the time of sampling. It was assembled with the aim of encompassing the soil variability in Europe.

This report presents an overview of the database, details the individual contributed datasets and explains the quality assurance and harmonization processes that lead to the final database.

Source: European Soil Portal - Newsletter n°62 - February 2014

ITRC Publishes New Web Based Guidance Document on Groundwater Statistics for Monitoring Compliance

ITRC has published a new web-based guidance document covering statistical tools for groundwater clean up monitoring and compliance. The guidance document describes how statistical tools and methods benefit environmental site management and provides information about using them in all remediation project life cycle stages: release detection, site characterization, remediation, monitoring, and closure.

ITRC also offers a free corresponding Internet-based training course on groundwater statistics.

See for more information and schedules for ITRC's Training Program.

Source: ITRC - June 2, 2014

The Sustainable Intensification of European Agriculture
The RISE Foundation
Download from:

The concept of Sustainable Intensification (SI) is used in the context of feeding a global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. The RISE report comprises the first analysis of SI in a European context, and argues it must be the paradigm within which future agricultural policy is made in the EU.
The report makes three key points:

  • The agricultural input which needs to be intensified across all of Europe is knowledge per hectare. This means knowledge in managing delicate ecosystems, knowledge to ensure that pollinator populations thrive, knowledge to make water management minimise flooding, as well as knowledge to achieve more food output per hectare.
  • The EU needs to devise a measurement tool for environmental farming performance. It would be strongly preferable to build on an EU-wide set of indicators already developed, for example the Joint Research Centre’s IRENA indicators.

In addition to better enforcement of existing environmental regulations, and using policy measures under the CAP, changes in farming practices must also come from farmers and private actors themselves. Many companies up- and downstream   already operate sustainability schemes, some of which are reviewed in the report. These should be strengthened and broadened, with more efforts to monitor and demonstrate their impact.



European Network on Soil Awareness Conference

Awareness Raising: The European Network on Soil Awareness held a meeting at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen from 19-20 September 2013. The conference was open to both soil special­ists with a specific interest in raising awareness of soils as well as other interest groups whose role involves an understanding of specific aspects of soil, for example, planners, education, local au­thorities and special interest groups. The speakers presentations are available online.

Source: European Soil Portal - Newsletter n°64 - April 2014

Soil carbon sequestration for climate food security and ecosystem services
Download from:

The international conference “Soil carbon sequestration for climate, food security and ecosystem services – linking science, policy and action (SCS2013)” took place in Reykjavik Iceland on 27. – 29. May 2013. 

The scientific soil community acknowledges that there is an urgent need to com­municate better the value of soil carbon to a broader public. The message so far has not actively reached the media, the public and policy makers. The SCS2013 conference brought together a broad spectrum of soil carbon experts, in order to link science, policy and action on soil carbon sequestration issues. 

The overall message was that soil carbon needs be a substantial part of the solution in mitigating climate change, ensuring food security and providing ecosystem services. Furthermore soil conservation, preservation and restoration could be considered as "win-win" pro­cesses for meeting other goals.  The European Commission was actively involved in the confer­ence and is still willing to bridge the communication gap between science and policy and to con­tinue to act as interface. The conference proceedings aim to present how the potential role of soil carbon sequestration has been discussed in different sessions (forest/ cropland/ revegetation/ desertification/ wetland/ rangeland/ verification) and from different perspectives.



Summer School on Global Environmental Policy
August 31-September 12, 2014 - Geneva, Switzerland

In Situ Remediation '14 Conference
September 2-4, 2014 - London, United-Kingdom

NORDROCS 2014 - 5th Nordic Joint Meeting on Remediation of Contaminated Sites
September 15-18, 2014 - Stockholm, Sweden

SustRem 2014 - 3rd International Conference on Sustainable Remediation 2014
September 17-19, 2014 - Ferrara, Italy

I2SM 2014 - International Symposium on Sediment Management
September 17-19, 2014 - Ferrara, Italy

ELS 2014 - The Earth Living Skin: Soil, Life and Climate Change
September 21-25, 2014 - Castellaneta Marina (TA), Italy

Atmos'Fair - La Qualité de l'Air - International Conference - Exhibition 2014
September 24-25, 2014 - Lyon, France

ICIME 2014 - International Conference in Integrated Management of Environment
September 25-28, 2014 - Hammamet,  Tunisia

8th International Conference on Innovative solutions for revitalisation of degraded areas
October 6-8, 2014 - Ustron/Katovice, Poland

9th International Soil Science Congress on "The Soul of Soil and Civilization"
October 14-16, 2014 - Side, Turkey

CABERNET 2014: Tailored & Sustainable Redevelopment towards Zero Brownfields
4th International Conference on Urban Land Management

October 14-16, 2014 - Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Rem-tech 2014 - Remediation Technologies Symposium 2014
October 15-17, 2014 - Banff, Alberta, Canada

SARCLE-2014 - Sustainable Approaches to Remediation of Contaminated Land in Europe 2014
CSME-2014 - Contaminated Site Management in Europe 2014
October 20-22, 2014 - Brussels, Belgium

Annual East Coast Conference
30th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water, and Energy

October 20-23, 2014 - Amherst, Massachusetts, United States of America

Sites et sols pollués - Evolutions réglementaires et financements alternatifs
October 23, 2014 - Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

V International Agricultural Symposium - AgroSym 2014
October 23-26, 2014 - Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Workshop NICOLE "Risk Assessment and cost effective management"
November 5-7, 2014 - Praha, Czech Republic

XII Symposium "Trace elements in the environment"
November 17-18, 2014 - Pulawy, Poland
More information on

8th International Conference on Remediation and Management of Contaminated Sediments
January 12-15, 2015 - New Orleans, Louisiana, United-States of America

3rd Global Soil Week 2015
April 19-23, 2015 - Berlin, Germany

AquaConSoil 2015 - 13th International Conference on Groundwater-Soil-Systems and Water Resource Management
June 9-12, 2015 - Copenhagen, Denmark

See all annoucements on COMMON FORUM website


Select a Newsletter:
Hosted by: BRGM - 3, avenue Claude Guillemin - BP 36009 - 45060 Orléans cedex 2 - France
Contact us