General questionnaires on Contaminated Land Management in EU Member States

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BE - Belgium - Flanders - Wallonia
SP - Spain - Federal - Basque Country


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1. Does your national policy have a specific definition of “potentially contaminated site”, “contaminated site”, “contaminated soil”? If yes, please provide the definition.

2. Is Groundwater considered as part of the soil in your national policy on contaminated land?

3. If you have a definition for following items, please provide the definition:

a. Brownfield?
b. Sediment?


4. Legislation with respect to contaminated land management:

a. If your country has legislation on contaminated land management, please precise if it’s a specific or a common legislation.
b. If there is no legislation, please precise how you tackle the problem.
c. What are the main policy objectives?
d. What are the principles on which the national policy is based? (I.e. risk based approach, remediation on a fit for use principle, etc).

5. Liability for the management of contaminated land?

a. What is the chain of liability? (Polluter? Land owner? Last operator? Occupier?)
b. If there is a difference betwen new and historic contamination, please precise?
c. Can a responsible party pass on the liability to a purchaser? (Under statutory law? Contractually?)
d. Is liability on environmental damage extinguished when clean up of the site is completed?

6. Are there any specifications at regional / local level? If yes, provide some detail.

7. Are there specifications for site closure? If yes, provide some detail (I.e. remediation on a risk based approach, for a specific land use …).

8. Is there any legal requirement to conduct investigation for potential contamination in the transfer of property? If yes, provide some detail.

9. If your national policy has any kind of inventories, please precise which sites are registered and if the databases are public.

10. What are the strong, weak points and the major bottlenecks with respect to the current legislation in your country?

11. What could/should be highlighted at the European level to improve the current legislation/policy? (cf. discussions around the proposal of Soil Framework Directive – proposal 7643/09)


12. Are there site investigation requirements?

13. Are Risk Assessment & Management the main tools?

14. Technical approaches used:

a. Are there specific technical approaches used for assessing risks and/or setting environmental quality objectives for the protection of Human Health (HH), Ecosystems, Groundwater (GW), Surface waters (SW)?
b. Are other damages considered? (I.e. to buildings, infrastructures….)
c. Are technical approaches used on a site by site specific approach, or by derivation of guideline values?
d. Do you take into consideration others sources of pollution in the risk assessment? (I.e. air pollution, high background levels…).

15. If the national policy uses guideline values, please precise the following points:

a. Reasons for derivation of generic values (i.e. simplification of implementation, harmonised approach at national/regional level, etc)
b. Objectives / levels of implementation (investigation, risk assessment, remediation)
c. Priority substances
d. Protocols of derivation (pathways and targets taken into consideration, equations …)

16. Remediation:

a. What are the drivers for remediation?
b. To what level is clean-up required? (i.e. acceptable risk, land use values, …)
c. Does your national policy use cost-benefits analysis for the choice of the remedial solution?

17. Remediation techniques:

a. Which are the main remediation techniques used?
b. Is natural attenuation considered as a remediation technique?
c. What is the distribution of the applied techniques?
d. What is the evolution in time of the distribution of the use of techniques in your country? more innovative techniques now, less dumping
e. How is the acceptance of innovative treatment techniques?


18. Funding issues:

a. Are there specific practices with respect to “Orphan sites”? If yes, please provide some details.
b. Are there alternatives financing solutions (I.e. grants, subsidies …) for non-orphan sites?

19. Annual budget allocated to Soil Contamination Management:

a. What is the annual budget?
b. How is it divided between public, private and others?
c. How is it divided between the different steps of management (investigation, remediation, monitoring…)?

20. Is there a specific approach for (if yes, please provide some details):

a. Brownfields?
b. Megasites?
c. Excavated soils?
d. Sediments?

21. Does your national policy include any accreditation system for consultants or service providers? If yes, please provide some details.


Are there any additional issues to be further developed in the following months/years?


Please give most important references (documents, website, projects, and case studies) that could be relevant for explaining your national approach