Common Forum Meetings 2021

Common Forum members & guests

News from European Commission – EEA – JRC

News from countries / initiatives

News From NICOLE

News From WHO

PFAS Corner


Forthcoming events

Dear colleagues,

The final quarter of 2021 has been a very intense time: a new EU Soil Strategy is creating momentum, the EU Soil Observatory (EUSO) has been established and a proposal for an EU Soil Health Law is envisaged for 2023! Thus, it is a great window of opportunity to co-create an innovative soil policy framing.

Considering the 2020ies a decade of societal and environmental transition it will be of vital interest to team up! Inside COMMON FORUM we need to discuss our key areas of interest and to establish dedicated task forces consequently. Looking to the universe of European soil networks, besides an enlarged EU Soil Expert Group, the new EUSO TWG Soil Pollution and the EIONET WG Soil Contamination we may at least co-work to NICOLE and SOILveR, and even more might as well get enriched by the "Coalition for Healthy Soils" (C4HS).

Great challenges and opportunities ahead to be part of the new EU soil future! Meanwhile, enjoy wonderful winter holidays and vision our reunion in Orléans (France) by springtime 2022!

Martha and Dietmar

COMMON FORUM Autumn meeting 2021, virtual

1 October, 25 November and 2 December 2021

The COMMON FORUM autumn meeting in 2021 was hold as a series of three 1/2-day online meetings during the final quarter 2021.

The CF "EU soil policy - debriefing and preparatory" meeting 2021 was held on 1 October 2021 in order to share and discuss information, positions and results of the DG ENV Soil Expert Group Meeting held the day before and to debrief and exchange views regarding the upcoming new Soil Thematic Strategy. Thanks to all participants for their valuable inputs and interesting analyses!

The presentation and meeting report from 1 October 2021 are now available at https://commonforum.eu/meetings21PreMeeting.asp.

Objectives of following meetings were to share information on the new EU Soil Strategy for 2030, published on 17 November 2021, and allow COMMON FORUM members to exchange on any perceptions, concerns and reactions. Furthermore, to discuss relevant issues of cooperation and in this context on possible joint interests, whether and where CF members have interest in contributing and giving inputs to support the EU Soil Strategy for 2030 and the development of an improved joint EU legislative framing by joining and co-working (co-creating) in targeted thematic CF task forces during 2022.

The presentations and meeting report of the meetings on 25 November and 2 December 2021 will be soon available.

COMMON FORUM Springtime meeting

Tentative date 18 - 20 May 2022
Orléans (France)
Updated information will be out by February 2022.

Recent changes / new experts representing COMMON FORUM members:

From Countries:

  • France - December 2021: Nathalie Velly
    INERIS French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks
  • Portugal - December 2021: Tomás Albergaria
    Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), Department of Waste
  • Spain – September 2021: Lluïsa Nadal Jaume replacing Eduard Márquez Bargalló
    Waste Agency of Catalonia, Contaminated Soil Department

New cooperation partner / guest to COMMON FORUM:

  • NICOLE Regulatory Working Group – July 2021: Micha van den Boogerd replacing Oliver Phipps as lead

A warm welcome!

EU Soil Strategy for 2030

The EU soil strategy for 2030, published on 17 November 2021, sets out a framework and concrete measures to protect and restore soils, and ensure that they are used sustainably. It sets a vision and objectives to achieve healthy soils by 2050 with concrete actions by 2030. The strategy announces a proposal for a new Soil Health Law by 2023 to ensure a level playing field and a high level of environmental and health protection, complementing the upcoming Nature Restoration Law. Key actions include: the promotion of Sustainable Soil Management, boosting the circular economy, restoration of degraded soils, prevent desertification, increase of research, the monitoring of soil and associated data collection, mitigation and adaption in relation to Climate change and the mobilisation of societal engagement and financial resources.

Find the new EU Soil Strategy at https://ec.europa.eu/environment/publications/eu-soil-strategy-2030_en

EU Soil Observatory (EUSO) Stakeholders Forum

EUSO (see the link https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/eu-soil-observatory) aims to be a dynamic and inclusive platform that supports EU soil-related policymaking. EUSO will provide the relevant Commission Services, together with the broader soil user community, with the knowledge and data flows needed to safeguard and restore soils. EUSO will incorporate the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) and will closely collaborate with relevant EU Agencies (e.g. EEA, EFSA, ECA) and Horizon Europe's Soil Mission.

To facilitate this interaction, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) organized the first EUSO Stakeholders Forum from 19 to 21 October 2021. The event reflected on the challenges facing soil within the various strategies of the Green Deal (e.g. the Soil, Biodiversity and Farm2Fork strategies, Zero Pollution Action Plan) and Horizon Europe’s proposed Mission "A Soil Deal for Europe". Furthermore, the Forum established five Working Groups to address scientific and policy questions (soil monitoring, soil pollution, soil erosion, data integration and soil biodiversity). Dietmar Müller-Grabherr was nominated as Co-Chair of the Soil Pollution Technical Working Group, which will provide support to JRC Ispra along the drafting process for the "Clean Soil Monitoring and Outlook Report".

To view the objectives of the TWG Soil Pollution, please visit https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/default/files/s1a_soilpollution_objectivesmilestones-2021-10-14.pdf

Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act

The EU taxonomy is a classification system, establishing a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. It could play an important role helping the EU scale up sustainable investment and implement the European Green Deal. The EU taxonomy would provide companies, investors and policymakers with appropriate definitions for which economic activities can be considered environmentally sustainable. In this way, it should create security for investors, protect private investors from greenwashing, help companies to become more climate-friendly, mitigate market fragmentation and help shift investments where they are most needed.

The Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act was transmitted for scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council for a period of 4 months, ending 8 December 2021, and was published on 9 December 2021 in the Official Journal of the European Union. Thus, the Delegated Act will apply by 1 January 2022 which is a big moment for green finance, the climate and for the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance.

To view the Regulation please visit https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:L:2021:442:FULL&from=EN

New indicator for pesticides in rivers, lakes and groundwater in Europe

Pesticides were assessed against effect or quality thresholds between 2013 and 2019. One or more pesticides were detected above its effect threshold at 13-30% of all surface water monitoring sites each year. Exceedances were mainly caused by the insecticides imidacloprid and malathion in surface waters, and the herbicides MCPA, metolachlor and metazachlor. Exceedances of one or more pesticides were detected at between 3% and 7% of groundwater monitoring sites, mainly by atrazine and its metabolites. No trends can be derived at this time and between-year changes may not be significant.

To view the indicator please visit https://www.eea.europa.eu/ims/pesticides-in-rivers-lakes-and

ECHA: Scientific committees support further restrictions of PFAS

The Committees for Risk Assessment and Socio-Economic Analysis support Germany’s proposal to restrict the use of undecafluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) and related substances.

The potential restriction is expected to reduce further environmental and human exposure to these chemicals resulting mainly from uses in food contact materials, textiles and fire-fighting foams.

To read more please visit https://echa.europa.eu/-/scientific-committees-support-fur-ther-restrictions-of-pfas?utm_source=echa-weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_cam-paign=weekly&utm_con-tent=20211215&_cldee=ZGlldG1hci5tdWVsbGVyLWdyYWJoZXJyQHVtd2VsdGJ1bmRlc2F

European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) - Newsletter

ESDAC Newsletter No.134 (November 2021) -

ESDAC Newsletter No.133 (October 2021)

Superfund Redevelopment Mapper

To help communities affected by Superfund sites reclaim and return land to safe and beneficial use, U.S. EPA has developed the Superfund Redevelopment Mapper. This web-based mapping tool helps stakeholders explore potential reuse opportunities. Even after these sites are cleaned up, they can sit idle and vacant with few or no benefits to the communities they are near. This tool helps positions these properties for revitalization and beneficial use as resources for the community. These uses include commercial, industrial, and residential, as well as natural areas, parks, and recreation.

A specific Webinar by U.S. EPA, Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM), Superfund Redevelopment Initiative on "Site Redevelopment? There's an App for That - Superfund Redevelopment Mapper Training" will take place on January 26, 2022, 6:00-8:00 PM GMT

Click here to register for the webinar: https://clu-in.org/conf/tio/superfund-redevelopment/

Sustainable Management Practices for Management of Land Contamination
CL:AIRE, September 2021

SuRF-UK defines Sustainable Management Practices (SMPs) as “relatively simple, common sense actions that can be implemented at any stage in a land contamination management project to improve its environmental, social and/or economic performance”. This document describes a simple process to encourage sustainable thinking, decision-making and action across all land contamination management activities by using SMPs.

To view or download, please visit https://www.claire.co.uk/projects-and-initiatives/surf-uk/21-executing-sustainable-remediation/84-sustainable-management-practices

Toolkit #3 - Evaluation of Remediation Technologies for Petroleum Hydrocarbon Sites
Golder Associates Ltd. For Contaminated Sites Approved Professional Society of British Columbia & Shell Global Solutions, 69 pp, 2021

This document comprises the third of a four-volume set of toolkits developed to provide guidance and improved decision-making for practitioners involved with investigating and remediating petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated sites. The document describes a science-based approach to identify, screen, and select remedial technologies based on an LNAPL conceptual site model, LNAPL concerns or risks, remedial goals, primary mechanisms and broad objectives, specific remedy criteria, performance metrics, and transition thresholds.

To view or download, please visit https://csapsociety.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/T3-CSAP-Toolkit-3-Remedial-Technologies-06APR_21.pdf

NICOLE Innovation Working Group Webinar Series - Emerging contaminants

27 January 2022, webinar

How a substance becomes an Emerging Contaminant - what can we learn from the past? In this webinar the usage, monitoring and emergence of substances into a substance of concern will be discussed. What is the scientific basis for designation as an Emerging Substance? What are the consequences from a regular point of view? And from the view of usage? What are the lessons we can learn and how can we apply them today and in future?

Link to register at https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYscOqsqzgsEt0ZW9WdaTVD9hxmde2qLgCB

NICOLE Spring Workshop 2022

The NICOLE spring workshop will be held from 3 - 5 May 2022 in Brussels, Belgium under the working title "Technical Solutions to build climate resilience into land management and remedial risk assessment".

Protecting health through urban redevelopment of contaminated sites: planning brief (2021)

Across the WHO European Region, the urban population is growing steadily and demand for land is rapidly increasing. Revitalizing and/or remediating industrial sites and contaminated land presents an opportunity for sustainable urban development. However, redevelopment of contaminated sites may cause continued environmental and health consequences if contamination risks are not properly managed or remediated.

This brief summarizes the lessons learned across Europe on the redevelopment of contaminated sites as a part of urban planning and renewal. Specifically, it aims to provide information on the health and environmental impacts to be considered during site redevelopment projects, and to identify good practice and relevant local experiences to support effective, healthy and sustainable redevelopment of contaminated sites. As such, this brief offers seven key messages to support the work of local decision-makers, planners, practitioners, researchers and civil society organizations.

To view or download, please visit https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/349922/9789289056342-eng.pdf

PFAS Data Management Requires Different Strategies - Considerations for an Efficient and Effective Program
Turner, C. ? American Institute of Professional Geologists Michigan Section Workshop, 15 - 17 June 2021, virtual

This workshop discusses different strategies for data handling and management practices required for PFAS. Several key reasons that PFAS data require a different data management strategy and questions to consider are included (e.g. what compounds are considered PFAS chemicals, what data management practices can be employed to ensure comparability between datasets using different methods, different regulatory criteria).

View the webinar at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjqpxZzvJTU

On Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Suggested Resources and Considerations for Groundwater Professionals
A.J. Frankel, Groundwater 59, no. 4: 481–487

Resources and key considerations are suggested in this article for groundwater professionals wishing to familiarize themselves with PFAS compounds. The article discusses background information, current groundwater-related regulations, risk considerations, and mitigation options. It also compares PFAS to other groundwater contaminants and provides a broad selection of references.

View or download at https://1lsva12o6n93oahzc36ixz71-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/PFAS-in-Groundwater.pdf

Multi-Industry Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Study – 2021 Preliminary Report
EPA Office of Water, EPA-821-R-21-004, 81 pp, September 2021

This preliminary report summarizes the readily available information and data EPA's Office of Water collected and reviewed concerning industrial discharges of PFAS from five industrial point source categories: organic chemicals, plastics, and synthetic fibers (OCPSF) manufacturing; metal finishing; pulp, paper, and paperboard manufacturing; textile mills; and commercial airports. It presents EPA’s estimates of the types and concentrations of PFAS, including legacy long-chain PFAS and short-chain replacement PFAS, present in wastewater discharges from these facilities. Few facilities in these industries currently have monitoring requirements, effluent limitations, or pretreatment standards for PFAS in their wastewater discharge permits. EPA identified available wastewater treatment technologies, such as activated carbon, ion exchange, and membrane filtration, that may reduce PFAS in wastewater discharges from facilities in these industrial point source categories.

View the article at https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2021-09/multi-industry-pfas-study_preliminary-2021-report_508_2021.09.08.pdf

New Passive Sampling Device for PFAS
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Superfund Research Program (SRP), November 2021

A new type of passive sampling device for PFAS that overcomes many limitations to traditional approaches, such as detecting short-chain PFAS and low concentrations of the chemicals in water, was developed. The sampling devices are miniature cylinders assembled from graphene oxide nanosheets, which stack to create internal pores. The cylinders leverage the high internal surface area of the atomically thin graphene to collect PFAS from aquatic environments via adsorption. Concentrated PFAS can then be extracted and measured using traditional laboratory methods. The ability of the cylinders to collect 23 PFAS chemicals from water was measured to explore optimizing the samplers to collect a broader range of PFAS chemicals. An objective was to improve the functionality for sampling short-chain PFAS, which tend to have negative chemical charges and are repelled by the similarly negatively charged graphene oxide nanosheets. Using a novel but simple grafting method based on diazonium chemistry introduced a positive surface charge to the graphene cylinders, increasing their affinity to adsorb short-chain PFAS. Using this modification, a ten-fold increased sorption of short- and middle-chain PFAS was reported.

View the article at https://tools.niehs.nih.gov/srp/1/ResearchBriefs/pdfs/SRP_ResearchBrief_323_508.pdf

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 2020 prepared by Paul Bardos (r3 Environmental Technology Ltd) for COMMON FORUM members.

See all announcements on COMMON FORUM website at https://commonforum.eu/announcement_conferences.asp

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.