Dear Colleagues,

The Lima, Perú events (COMMON FORUM meeting, back-to-back meeting CF/ReLASC, ICCL meeting and workshops) have been successful and intense. CF and ICCL Meeting presentations are now available on the network websites. Thanks to our Peruvian colleagues for their hospitality and smooth organization and to the participants for their contribution to all discussions!

The meeting week has been the occasion for exchanges with our Latin American colleagues, how to develop a closer cooperation of the networks (ReLASC/CF) and members. Topics like coping with Hg-contaminated sites and implementing the Minamata Convention will need follow-up until and at our next meeting.

Finally to announce the upcoming COMMON FORUM springtime meeting being scheduled for 15 – 17 April 2020 and on invitation by FOEN (Federal Office for the Environment of the Swiss Confederation) taking place in Neuchâtel (Switzerland).

Have a relaxing Christmas time and pleasant days onward onto 2020!

Looking forward to meeting you.

Kind regards
Martha and Dietmar


Next COMMON FORUM Network meeting will be held in

15 – 17 April 2020
Neuchâtel (Switzerland)

Wednesday, 15 April 2020: WG-meetings & workshops (all day)
Thursday, 16 April 2020: Plenary meeting (all day)
Friday, 17 April 2020: Excursion / site visit (half day)

The COMMON FORUM secretariat particularly thanks
our colleagues from Switzerland and the Federal Office for the Environment
for inviting and hosting the springtime meeting 2020.

Thank you to the COMMON FORUM members and special guests for their participation and for the fruitful discussions during the

meeting in Lima on October 22, 2019

The presentations are now available (link).

Recent changes / new members of representations within the COMMON FORUM:

From Countries:

  • France – September 2019:
    - Sami Kaabouch replacing Antoine Billard
    French Ministry for the Environment, the Energy and the Sea

  • Germany – September 2019:
    - Sabine Neulen replacing Andreas Bieber
    German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

A warm welcome!

New cooperation partner / guest to COMMON FORUM:

  • CL:AIRE – December 2019: Nicola Harris CL:AIRE is a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee/Registered in England

Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments (CL:AIRE) is an independent not-forprofit organisation established in 1999 to stimulate the regeneration of contaminated land in the UK by raising awareness of, and confidence in, practical and sustainable remediation technologies.

CL:AIRE activities focus to develop training resources, disseminate information and act as a credible resource for all stakeholders, while ensuring to remain at the cutting-edge of best practice and innovation.

For more information click here

Emerging chemical risks in Europe — ‘PFAS’

It is currently not possible to perform in-depth environmental and health risk assessments of all chemical substances in use in Europe because of the great variety of chemicals and their diverse uses. New and legacy chemicals continue to be released into Europe’s environment, adding to the total chemical burden on Europe’s citizens and ecosystems. Early identification of emerging risks is one of the activities of the European Environment Agency (EEA). This EEA briefing from December 2019 summarises the known and potential risks to human health and the environment in Europe posed by a group of very persistent chemicals, the per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS).


EEA indicators on industrial pollution in Europe

This indicator provides an overview of industrial pollution in Europe. This includes the contribution of industry to air and water emissions, soil contamination and waste generation. Trends in industrial pollutant releases to air and water, and industrial transfers of waste are also highlighted.


Signals 2019 - Land and soil in Europe - Why we need to use these vital and finite resources sustainably

Protecting Europe's land and soil resources is fundamental for a sustainable future. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) Signals 2019 ‘Land and soil in Europe’ explains key pressures — such as urban sprawl, contamination, intensive use of agricultural land, landscape fragmentation — impacting Europe’s land and soil. The report underlines that we need to preserve and protect these key resources better. For example, the way we build and connect cities should prioritise ‘land recycling’, which consists of re-using and re-purposing existing urban areas such as old industrial sites and avoid new land to be covered by concrete and asphalt.


Future Brief: Persistent organic pollutants: towards a POPs-free future

This Future Brief from Science for Environment Policy examines the levels and future outlook for POPs in the environment and humans, and how we can reduce our use of POPs. The majority of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) identified until now are banned or restricted around the world owing to concerns about their harm to ecosystems and human health. Our Future Brief also highlights how even long-banned POPs remain in the environment; how others are still in use and are being directly emitted; and how new POPs may be identified for which we have limited information.

Open the Future Brief here

Land use: Datasets on Corine Land Cover accounting layers and on land recycling. Interactive map for land take intensity within NUTS3 regions.

Land recycling addresses the reuse of abandoned, vacant or underused urban land for new developments within FUAs (Functional Urban Areas, i.e. urban agglomerations). Land recycling is considered a response to land take within FUAs, i.e. urban development on arable land, permanent crop land or semi-natural areas. It is a key planning instrument for achieving the goal of no net land take by 2050 (EC, 2016)

Land recycling is still low in all European countries: on average, land recycling accounted for only 13.5 % of total land consumption in European cities in the 2006-2012 period. The land use densification process, i.e. when land development makes maximum use of existing infrastructure, accounts for the largest proportion of land recycling (10 % of total land consumption). However, in most countries, land take dominates over densification in total land management with the exception of Finland and France. Grey recycling, i.e. internal conversions between residential and/or non-residential land cover types, is secondary to densification, ranging from 14 % to less than 1 % of total land consumption. Land take predominates over grey recycling in total land management in all countries. Green recycling, i.e. the development of green urban areas using previously built-up areas, is an important trend that reverses soil sealing, but it is a marginal process in all countries and, on average, it accounts for only 0.2 % of total land consumption.


European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) - Newsletter

ESDAC Newsletter No.120 (October – November 2019) -

ESDAC Newsletter No.119 (August – September 2019) -

ESDAC Newsletter No.118 (June – July 2019) -

Global status and trends in soil pollution - report to UNEA5 (2021): GSP establishing an Editorial Board

Requested by a resolution of the United Nations Environment Assembly in 2017 (UNEA3) a report by FAO, UNEP and WHO on the Global status and regional trends in soil pollution is under preparation and shall be presented at the UNEA5 in February 2021.

The report is coordinated by the Secretariat of the Global Soil Partnership and is intended to serve as a summary of existing scientific and practical knowledge to support the proposal of informed decisions. To review the report and ensure its quality and comprehensiveness an Editorial Board will be established. The Editorial Board is to be composed by member of the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), UNEP, WHO and FAO members working on related issues and shall be complemented by external key experts.

According to the overall time planning the Editorial Board will comment and review the draft document during the period from January to April 2020. Given you are interested in joining the Editorial Board, you are invited to contact the GSP secretariat at FAO

Natalia Rodríguez Eugenio
Phone: +3906-5705-0134
email: Natalia.rodriguezeugenio@fao.org

ICCL website

By December 2019 the transfer of the ICCL-homepage is getting completed and finally hosted by Environment Agency Austria.

14th ICCL Meeting 2019 in Lima, Perú

The 14th ICCL meeting took place in Lima (Perú) from the 23rd to the 24th of October, 2019, hosted by the Peruvian Ministry of Environment in its capacity as Presidency to ReLASC - our Latin-American regulatory partner network for preventing and managing land contamination.

All presentations given during the ICCL meeting are now available at ICCL website.

PLEASE NOTE: The call for candidates for the 15th ICCL meeting in fall 2021 is already open.

NICOLE Spring 2020 Workshop
The End of Liability

The intention of the NICOLE Spring 2020 Workshop is to focus on the non-technical aspects of managing contaminated land liability from many angles: law, philosophy, insurance, investment, etc. The Workshop will be held from 25 – 26 June 2020 in Porto, Portugal.


Battye, N., L. Turner, O. El-Sharnouby, D. Patch, K. Jaansalu, B. Kueper, and K. Weber. Real Property Institute of Canada Federal Contaminated Sites Regional Workshop, 4-5 June, Halifax, NS, 25 slides, 2019

A study employed ball milling to destroy PFAS in soils from a 50+-year-old firefighting training area and silica-based sand spiked with PFAS. The mechanical action of milling promotes reactivity and surface chemistry states that are not attainable in ambient conditions. Three different-sized ball mills were used to evaluate and demonstrate scalability. A suite of 13 PFAS compounds spanning and extending beyond those with Canadian guidance values were tracked in all cases. Results demonstrated up to 97% of PFAS destruction within minutes in two types of soil, sand, and clay, and no identifiable PFAS products were produced. This patent-pending, ex situ remediation technology for PFAS-contaminated soils will be scaled on-site to develop detailed operational requirements


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: www.eugris.info/whatsnew.asp. 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 in 2019 prepared by Paul Bardos (r3 Environmental Technology Ltd) for COMMON FORUM members.

UK: Environment Agency publishes reformed land contamination guidance

The Environment Agency (EA) has published an update to the Model procedures for the management of land contamination (CLR11).

The LCRM guidance has been designed to be accessible, and includes a list of basic site details and general information required for all risk assessment reports. It also contains links to relevant guidance via the CL:aire Water and Land Library, as well as links to British Standards and CIEH/LQM guidance documentation. It offers a more intuitive approach to the management of land contamination and includes up-to-date terminology to advise users on how to assess if there’s unacceptable risk, decide which options are the most suitable to manage the risk and implement remediation if needed.

The main amendments include a shorter and simplified remediation strategy that focuses on three stages. Stage 1 focuses on risk assessment, stage 2 options appraisal and stage 3 remediation and verification. LCRM includes a matrix to determine which remediation options are most appropriate and presents options depending on what contaminants are found within the soil or water.


To find more information see the CL:AIRE news item.

EUROSOIL 2020 – call for contributions

The EUROSOIL 2020 Organising Committee invites to participate in the scientific sessions by submitting your contribution before 20 February 2020. In line with the theme Connecting People and Soil, the sessions are organised around the soil-related topics of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Click here to find the Call and submitting your contribution

Click here to learn more about the Eurosoil 2020 Venue

Greener Cleanup Metrics

The EPA "Principles for Greener Cleanups" provide a foundation for planning and implementing cleanups that protect human health and the environment while minimizing the environmental footprint of cleanup activities. EPA has developed 14 greener cleanup metrics that may be used to quantify specific portions of the footprint, such as the amounts of refined materials, public water or diesel fuel that are used or the amount of wastewater and hazardous waste that is generated. The metrics provide an optional means for regulators, private industry and other cleanup partners to collect and track site-specific footprint information across multiple sites in a uniform and transparent manner. On a project level, use of the metrics is anticipated to help the cleanup stakeholders identify best management practices (BMPs) that could be implemented to minimize the footprint. To learn more about the 14 metrics, download the workbook, or view related Q&As, visit https://clu-in.org/greenremediation/greenercleanupmetrics.

CRC Care National Remediation Framework, 26 pp, 2018

This guide is intended to help conduct a preliminary remediation options appraisal at sites in Australia and identify remediation technologies to potentially treat the contaminants of concern or break identified pollutant linkages at the site under investigation. It also provides advice on formulating a remediation action plan.


Madejon, P., M.T. Dominguez, E. Madejon, F. Cabrera, T. Maranon, and J.M. Murillo. Science of the Total Environment 625:50-63(2018)

A literature review was conducted to summarize key research findings focused on soil-plant systems at the Aznalcollar mine since the occurrence of a large-scale mine accident in April 1998. The review includes information on mine slurry and contaminated soil characterization and on trace element (TE) monitoring performed over the past 20 years. Lab results on the soil amendments used as a reclamation technique at the site are discussed, focusing on the effects of different types of amendments at different spatial scales and their effectiveness with time. Other lab results discussed include monitoring TEs in soil and their transfer to plants to assess potential toxicity effects in the food web and using plants to biomonitor TEs in the environment. The experience acquired in making the Guadiamar Green Corridor a large-scale soil reclamation and phytoremediation case study is also evaluated

Read more.


Keane. D., S. Crawford, E. Moyer, R. Ball, and F. Taylor The 34th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water, and Energy, 16 October, Amherst, MA, 126 slides, 2018

The workshop covered PFAS physical-chemical properties and fate and transport mechanisms relevant to remediation. Non-destructive and destructive treatment technologies for treating PFAS in soil and water are discussed. Cutting edge technologies using advanced carbon, synthetic resins, alternative natural adsorbents, and advanced oxidation are explained, and some case studies are included.

For accessing the presentation click here

See all announcements on COMMON FORUM website

The COMMON FORUM on Contaminated Land, initiated in 1994, is a network of contaminated land policy makers and advisors from national ministries in European Union memberstates and European Free Trade Association countries.