Common Forum Newsletter nr. 56 - December 18th, 2014
by Dr. D. Darmendrail


Next CF meeting in Copenhagen, DK

CF meeting in Napoli, IT

CF members turnover

What's new on CF website?

News from EU Countries

News from ICCL

News from European Commission

News from NICOLE

Research Projects

Eugris corner

Documents of interest

Books, articles & abstract proceedings of interest

Forthcoming events


Dear Colleagues,

2014 has been a very rich and intense year for COMMON FORUM: new countries jumping in, new representatives in some countries, new activities, emerging ideas for the future of our network, intense debates on policy and technical issues...

During 2015, some major events will create more opportunities, with in particular dialogue sessions during the Global Soil Week (April 19-23, 2015 - Berlin, Germany), COMMON FORUM Spring meeting (May 12-13, Copenhagen, Denmark), and ICCL 2015 meeting and workshop (September 2015, Melbourne, Australia). COMMON FORUM network and members will also be associated to some new initiatives such as the European Soil Partnership, the INSPIRATION project funded under the Horizon 2020 instrument.

Enjoy your Xmas time and see you in 2015…..

Kind regards,




Next COMMON FORUM meeting will be held
in Copenhagen, Denmark, on

12–13 May 2015



Thank you to the COMMON FORUM menbers and special guests for their participation and for the fruitful discussion during the meeting in Napoli on October 09-10, 2014.

Meeting report is now available!



Recent changes of national representations within the COMMON FORUM:

From Countries:

  • Romania - September 2014: Cosmin Dorin Teodoru and Alina Dorina Criclevit are new COMMON FORUM members. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Contaminated Sites Department.
  • Sweden - October 2014: Jeanette Haggrot to replace Erika Skogsjo, Naturvardsverket.
  • Latvia - November 2014: Daina Ozola to replace Dace Ozola. Guna Smerlina is a new COMMON FORUM member. Ministry of the Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Latvia
  • Belgium - Flanders - January 2015: Johan Ceenaeme to replace Marijke Cardon, OVAM.

From Guest Organisations:

  • European Commission - September 2014: Ana Paya Perez is a new COMMON FORUM guest from EC, Institute for Environment and Sustainability Land Resources Management.

See also: COMMON FORUM Members List



COMMON FORUM and NICOLE Common Position on Risk-Informed and Sustainable Remediation

The common position paper 1177 of COMMON FORUM and NICOLE published on July 2013 is now available in Portuguese and Serbian.

COMMON FORUM/ICCL questionnaire on Legal Framework

Earlier this year, the COMMON FORUM / ICCL questionnaire on Legal Framework has been completed with Spain and Portugal answers. On last september it has been completed again by Sweden.

New questionnaires from other organizations

The COMMON FORUM website section for questionnaires from other organizations has been enhanced with two new questionnaires:



Decree on the modalities for the preparation of the baseline report, signed by Mr. Minister November 13 , 2014

In Annex 2 to this Ministerial Decree are the minimum content of the baseline report required in order to make a comparison, in quantitative terms of the quality of soil and groundwater, upon definitive cessation of activities.

White Paper: A Common Ground for Clean Soil

Version 1.0 - State of Green & CLEAN - 2014

coverThis white paper report presents an overview of the Danish sector for soil and groundwater remediation, as well as the companies that contribute to its development.

The content of this white paper is meant to inspire and serve as a helpful resource for:

  • International stakeholders who wish to gain an overview of the Danish soil and groundwater remediation sector,
  • International stakeholders looking for Danish business partners and ready-to-implement Danish solutions/technologies,
  • National stakeholders interested in knowing the extent of Danish competences in these area.



EPA Releases the Final IRIS Assessment for Libby Amphibole Asbestos
Additional information on the Libby Superfund site can be found by visiting the Region 8 website.

EPA has released the final IRIS assessment for Libby Amphibole Asbestos. The IRIS Summary and Toxicological Review have been added to the IRIS website as part of Step 7 of the IRIS process. Additionally, the interagency science discussion draft assessment (Step 6), interagency comments, and EPA’s response were released.

World Bank has recently published two reports on Contaminated sites management:

- Developing a Program for Contaminated Site Management in Low and Middle Income Countries

coverContaminated sites associated with economic growth and development and increased urbanization pose a growing public health and environmental problem. Emissions and discharges, particularly uncontrolled ones, onto land can pollute the soil and the groundwater beneath, and can also affect surface water quality and sediments in nearby rivers and streams.

This document is intended to summarize the rationale and the major policy, regulatory, implementation, and organizational issues involved in creating a contaminated site program, especially for low and middle income countries. The document offers alternatives regarding the design and implementation of such a program. It provides an action agenda of short- and longer-term activities to be considered when establishing a contaminated site program. In addition to providing some optional approaches for the many policy and programmatic issues, the document provides numerous references from the experience of other country programs to draw upon in considering program options.

- Financing Mechanisms for Addressing Remediation of Site Contamination

coverIndustrial and commercial facilities provide great economic benefit to communities throughout the world. Unfortunately, many industries use or have used practices and materials which have proven toxic to the environment and to those who live and work near contaminated sites. The definition and degree of contamination varies at national and regional levels of government, but leaders throughout the world now recognize the hazard that contaminated industrial and service sites present to the wellbeing of their communities and seek innovative ways to finance the remediation of these challenging sites. Industrial contamination can have a severe, direct impact on adjacent communities. The cleanup and redevelopment of a so-called “brownfield” can “improve a community’s economy, provide an opportunity for habitat restoration, and create public space”.



Groundwater Directive
Download from:

The Groundwater Directive has been revised and adopted:

  • The revision does not touch upon the main text of the GWD but has its entire focus on Annex 2
  • It does not introduce further common European groundwater threshold values, but
  • against the background of surface water eutrophication, 2 parameters (nitrites; phosphorus (total)/phosphates) for a possible threshold value derivation at national level. 
Furthermore, some additional elements are included referring to background values and thresholds.

Source: NICOLE Enews issue August 2014

Environment/industrial policy: Live and work in better buildings
Read more on:

On July 2nd, 2014, the Commission adopted new proposals which aim to reduce the environmental impacts of new and renovated buildings by increasing resource efficiency and improving the information available about the environmental performance of buildings. The results should be:

  • good for the environment. Almost one half of the EU's final energy consumption and extracted materials, and about one third of EU water consumption, are related to the construction and occupancy of buildings;

  • good for the building sector. Europe's construction sector generates almost 10% of GDP and provides 20 million jobs;

  • and good for occupants. Sustainable buildings are cheaper to operate and maintain and they have positive impacts on the occupants when it comes to health and well-being.

    Source: NICOLE Enews issue August 2014

Moving towards a circular economy
Read more on:

The European Commission adopted the Communication "Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe" and annex to establish a common and coherent EU framework to promote the circular economy. Turning Europe into a more circular economy means:

  • boosting recycling and preventing the loss of valuable materials;
  • creating jobs and economic growth;
  • showing how new business models, eco-design and industrial symbiosis can move us towards zero-waste;
  • reducing greenhouse emissions and environmental impacts.

As part of the circular economy package, the Commission also adopted a legislative proposal to review recycling and other waste-related targets in the EU and annex.

Source: NICOLE Enews issue August 2014

International Year of Soils 2015 - Launch of information platform on soil events at Commission’s website ‘Europa’

LogoIYSOn occasion of the first International World Soil Day and following one of the suggestions of the Scoping study on the International Year of Soils 2015, the Environment Directorate-General of the Commission has launched an online information platform on soil activities planned to be carried out in the EU at local, regional or national levels in the course of the next months. The objective is to increase transparency on the diverse range of soil and land related activities in Europe and beyond. In addition, the platform will contribute to sharing information, best practices, tools, educational material, apps, and similar dedicated to soil awareness even beyond 2015. The new IYS website is available here.
The European Commission wishes to promote the sustainability of this limited and life sustaining natural resource. Facing ongoing soil degradation at European and global level, 2015 offers a unique opportunity to highlight the importance of sustainable soil management as the foundation for food, feed, fuel and natural fibre production and other most essential ecosystem functions.

You are invited to share information on the educational and outreach activities you plan to carry out in the course of the year by writing to

This platform should be seen in the context of the work of FAO's Global Soil Partnership on the IYS and as a contribution to soil awareness activities in a year that will see the United Nations agree on a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) for the world at a summit in New York in September 2015.

International year of soils 2015, scoping study for DG ENV report
Final report 2014 - European Commission - EDG
Download from:

Under suggestion of FAO's Global Soil Partnership and with the support of the EU, in December 2013 the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2015 as the ‘International Year of Soils’ (IYS) and 5 December of each year as the ‘World Soil Day’ (WSD) (see UNGA resolution).

In order to find out what kind of awareness-raising activities and events could be organised or co-organised by the European Commission to mark the IYS, a scoping study has been prepared on behalf of the Environment Directorate-General of the Commission.

Source: NICOLE Enews issue September 2014

First meeting of the European Soil Partnership
Read mor on:

LogoGSPThe FAO has established the Global Soil Partnership, to raise awareness in the importance of a good soil quality for a prosperous world population. This GSP has regional subsidiaries to help reach the objectives. Around 100 members of the European Soil Partnership (ESP) met 21-22 May at the EU Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. The group defined some fifteen action items, e.g. to develop a website with ideas and examples of initiatives, instruments and toolkits for raising awareness, and to develop a research agenda on ecosystem services.

Source: NICOLE Enews issue August 2014

INSPIRE Thematic Clusters collaboration platform

ImageINSPIREINSPIRE announces the launch of the INSPIRE Thematic Clusters collaboration platform.

The platform is an evolution of the INSPIRE Forum and serves as an entry point for INSPIRE data providers, implementers and users to share experiences, best practices, raise questions and resolve issues in their thematic domains.

34 INSPIRE data themes have been grouped into 9 clusters of themes that are closely related. Each cluster has a facilitator whose role is to lead and participate in discussions, identify and facilitate sharing of best practice and key issues, identify relevant projects and software solutions.

This activity is part of the INSPIRE Maintenance and Implementation Framework, with the objective of supporting INSPIRE implementation in the Member States.

Your are invited to join INSPIRE on the platform and participate in the discussions relevant for you. Use the opportunity to share your implementation experience and/or learn from others about best practice in implementation and use of INSPIRE.



Technology Award 2015
Innovative Investigation or Remediation Technology or Practice, leading to a more time- and/or cost efficient remediation

For more than 15 years NICOLE has undertaken projects and organised workshops, providing a discussion platform in Europe on a sound technical basis for risk based management of contaminated land. Our network is today recognized as a leader in the European Union, and reaches everywhere in the world. Recurring themes are sustainability and cost-efficiency and one of NICOLE’s primary missions is the continuous promotion for development and improvement in these fields. Given the success of the earlier Technology Awards, of which the last one in 2013 was on “Sustainable remediation by using natural or reusable/recycled materials”, NICOLE decided to launch the 2015 Award with the intent to stimulate engineers and scientists to promote technical innovations that can contribute to an improved practice for sustainable contaminated land management.

Announcement of The NICOLE Spring Workshop 2015

On the 24th to the 26th of June 2015, the Spring Workshop of NICOLE will be held at the Manchester University. Rick Parkman of URS will be the chair of the Workshop.

The subject will be "Unconventional pollutants", such as (micro)plastic and plastics. Pharmaceutical and personal care products, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), asbestos, challenging metals, radionucleides and radioactive substances will be discussed as well.

Study on land recycling for the European Environment Agency

MediTerra has been awarded by the European Environment Agency (EEA) with the contract “Study on Land Recycling”. For performing this assessment we have the collaboration of ARCADIS, LQM and Leitat.

The aim of this study is to evaluate wider environmental impacts, i.e. other than those directly related to land use (both on- and off-site), of brownfield development by evaluating and applying the Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) approach across a number of European cases.

NICOLE sustainable remediation working group will contribute. COMMON FORUM members were also offered to send national / regional experiences.

For more information on MediTerra please contact Jordi Boronat.

Source: NICOLE Enews issue September 2014



The First year of NANOREM Project

The first year research within NanoRem has been very active. The 1st Annual Meeting took place on 7th to 9th April 2014 in Vienna and Austria, where the consortium presented the developments and the results achieved since the start of NanoRem on 1st February 2013. In the course of the year NanoRem welcomed a new partner: Scientific Instruments Dresden GmbH, ScIDre, who will contribute to the large-scale production of Carbo-Iron. The next 12 months will prove to be very important to the success of the NanoRem project. The pilot trials will be up and running, results will be being collated and the profile of the project will be rising. Engagement with stakeholder networks, presentations at key conferences will be an important measure of the project’s success showing that the application of NPs is a practical and reliable method for the treatment of contaminated soil and groundwater. 

Source: NICOLE Enews issue November 2014

RECARE: Preventing and Remediating degradation of soils in Europe through Land Care

logoRecareSoils are currently under increasing threat from a wide range of processes, such as soil erosion, compaction, desertification, sealing, contamination and others. The EU FP7-funded RECARE project has brought together a transdisciplinary team of 27 different organisations across Eu­rope to find ways of assessing the current threats to soils and to develop, with stakeholders in 17 case studies, effective prevention, remediation and restoration measures.

Source: European Soil Data Centre Newsletter No 72 (December 2014)



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.



Moving Sediment Management Forward - The Four SedNet Messages
June 2014 -
Download from:

SedNet is a European network aimed at incorporating sediment issues and knowledge into European strategies to support the achievement of environmental status objectives and at developing new tools for supporting sediment management. The SedNet core group identified four key messages related to sediment management and these are presented in this brochure. Case studies from European rivers which exemplify the key messages can be found on the SedNet website.

The four key messages can be condensed to one overarching message: Sediments are an integral part of nature and aquatic systems; they are an important resource which needs protection and targeted management.

Guidance Document on Contaminated Sediments Remediation
ITRC - August 2014

Remediation of contaminated sediments commonly targets the complementary goals of protecting human health and the environment and restoring impaired environmental resources to beneficial use. Remediating contaminated sediment sites is challenging from a technical and risk-management perspective. A new ITRC Web-based guidance document presents a remedy selection framework for contaminated sediments to help project managers evaluate remediation technologies and develop remediation alternatives based on site-specific data. General categories of contaminated sediment remedial technologies covered in the guidance document include monitored natural recovery (MNR) and enhanced monitored natural recovery (EMNR), in situ treatment, capping (conventional and amended), and removal (dredging and excavation). Additional factors that need to be considered as part of the evaluation process are summarized (e.g., feasibility, cost, stakeholder and local government concerns, and others). ITRC offers a free corresponding Internet-based training course on contaminated sediment remediation as well.

Source: US-EPA - TechDirect September 1, 2014

Recommended Approach for Evaluating Completion of Groundwater Restoration Remedial Actions at a Monitoring Well (OSWER Directive 9283.1-44) & Groundwater Statistical Tool.

The purpose of this document is to recommend well-specific factors for EPA Regions and other stakeholders to consider in evaluating the groundwater in each monitoring well for purposes of the recommendations discussed in the groundwater restoration completion guidance (OSWER 9355.0-129). The Groundwater Statistics Tool is designed to help evaluate contaminant of concern (COC) concentrations on a well-by-well basis to determine whether a groundwater restoration remedial action is complete.

Source: US-EPA - TechDirect September 1, 2014

Guidelines for Remediation Strategies to Reduce the Radiological Consequences of Environmental Contamination
IAEA - 2012

This Technical Report Series, number 475, was produced by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The book specifically collates, and summarizes recent activities relevant to remediation conducted under the auspices of the IAEA, but also refers to relevant studies conducted elsewhere.

Source: US-EPA - TechDirect October 1, 2014

Superfund Radiation Risk Assessment: A Community Toolkit

This toolkit presents a collection of 22 fact sheets to help the general public understand more about EPA's risk assessment process used at radioactively contaminated Superfund sites. It also provides brief overviews on EPA's risk assessment calculators and provides information regarding radionuclides that are commonly found at Superfund sites.

The toolkit is also supplemented by the existing 19-minute video, Superfund Radiation Risk Assessment and How You Can Help.

Source: US-EPA - TechDirect September 1, 2014

Petroleum Vapor Intrusion: Fundamentals of Screening, Investigation, and Management
ITRC (Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council). 2014. PVI-1. Washington, D.C.: Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council, Petroleum Vapor Intrusion Team

This ITRC guidance document uses a scientifically-based approach to support improved decision making at potential petroleum vapor intrusion (PVI) sites by employing an eight-step process. By applying this approach, decision makers can confidently screen out sites, and therefore focus limited resources on the small fraction of petroleum-contaminated sites that warrant vapor control or additional site management.

This ITRC guidance complements the ongoing work of United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) in addressing the PVI pathway.

Petroleum Vapor Intrusion (PVI) is the process by which volatile petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) released as vapors from light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPL), petroleum-contaminated soils, or petroleum-contaminated groundwater migrate through the vadose zone and into overlying buildings. ITRC offers a free corresponding Internet-based training course on Petroleum Vapor Intrusion as well.

Source: US-EPA - TechDirect, November 1, 2014

Measuring Vapor Intrusion to Estimate Underground Contamination

Vapor intrusion involves the movement of contaminants from beneath a home or a business up into the air inside the building. The vapor source is typically groundwater that contains low to moderate concentrations of either chlorinated solvents, such as trichloroethylene (TCE), or petroleum-related compounds, such as benzene.

The importance of measuring vapor intrusion is that even in low concentrations, long-term exposure to these volatile chemicals may pose an unacceptable risk of chronic health effects. Scientists from the Brown University Superfund Research Program have taken a step toward providing a simpler, accurate screening method to determine whether chemicals in underground sources are seeping into buildings and contaminating indoor air. The researchers developed process models to predict the concentrations of vapors that enter indoor environments. Results from the process models were consistent with advanced computer modeling techniques.

Source: TechDirect, November 1, 2014

Standard Guide for Selection of Passive Techniques for Sampling Groundwater Monitoring Wells

The Standard describes three classes of passive sampling technologies applicable for routine groundwater monitoring. The three classes include diffusion-based samplers, sorption-based samplers, and passive grab samplers. With the new ASTM Standard, passive groundwater sampling steps into the mainstream with traditional purge sampling methods. Hard work from the ITRC Passive Sampler team and others was key to completing this important milestone.

Source: US-EPA - TechDirect December 1, 2014



20 peer-review publications from the JRC SOIL group in 2013

Covers of 4 publicationsThe SOIL team published 20 peer reviewed publications during 2013 in various journals such as Global Change Biology, PLOS, Ecological Indicators, Science of Total Environment, Vadose, Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Landslides, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Man­agement, Ecological Research, etc.

These publications cover various subjects such as soil organic carbon modelling / assessment, soil contamination, heavy metals, LUCAS dataset, Biodiversity, pe­do-transfer functions, economic evaluation of maps, Landslides, Critical Zone Observatories, soil functions, ecosystem services, digital soil mapping and biochar.

Source: European Soil Data Centre Newsletter No 70 (October 2014)

Study on Contribution of industry to pollutant emissions to air and water
ISBN 978-92-79-39499-7 - DOI: 10.2779/25422
No of catalogue: KH-04-14-737-EN-N - September 2014

coverIED industrial activities are one component of Europe’s emission profile and there is a need to better understand the share and extent of emissions that are deemed to be regulated and ‘unregulated’ by current EU legislation.

This report forms part of the evidence base to answer that question as well as quantifying the contribution of (agro-) industrial activities to the overall pollutant load on air and water when judged against all anthropogenic emission sources.



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

InterSol 2015
March 24-26, 2015 - Paris, France

European Geosciences Union Assembly 2015
April 12-17, 2015 - Vienna, Austria

Workshop "Soil - An essential Resource"
April 16-17, 2015 - Island Frauenchiemsee, Germany

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

Environmental Technology for Impact 2015 - ETEI2015
April 29-30, 2015 - Wageningen, The Netherlands

SETAC Europe
May 3-7, 2015 - Barcelona, Spain

Third International Symposium on Bioremediation and Sustainable Environmental Technologies
May 18-21, 2015 - Miami, Florida, United States of America

Spring school on mapping assessment of soils
May 18-22, 2015 - Wageningen, Netherlands

Land Quality and Landscape Processes Conference
June 02-04, 2015 - Keszthely, Hungary

20th Annual Contaminated Site Management Course
June 8-12, 2015 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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

31st International Conference of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health
June 22-26, 2015 - Bratislava, Slovakia

RAMIRAN 2015 - 16th International Conference Rural-Urban Symbiosis
September 8-10, 2015 - Hamburg, Germany

SUITMA - 8th International Conference of the Working Group on Soils in Urban, Industrial, Traffic and Mining Areas
September 20-25, 2015 - Mexico, Mexico

9th International SedNet Conference
September 23-26 - Krakow, Poland

CSME 2015 - Contaminated Site Management in Europe: Sustainable Remediation and Management of Soil, Sediment and Water
October 19-21 - Brusssels, Belgium

MGP Symposium - Sixth international symposium and exhibition on the redevelopment of manufactured gas plant sites
November 8-10 - Ghent, Belgium

See all announcements on COMMON FORUM website

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