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
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 MEETINGS 2021
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
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!
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.
COMMON FORUM MEMBERS & GUESTS
Recent changes / new experts representing COMMON FORUM members:
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
A warm welcome!
NEWS FROM EUROPEAN COMMISSION - EEA - JRC
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.
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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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?
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
NEWS FROM WHO
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.
PFAS Data Management Requires Different Strategies - Considerations for an Efficient and Effective
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).
On Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Suggested Resources and Considerations for Groundwater
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.
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.
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
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 in 2020 prepared by Paul Bardos
(r3 Environmental Technology Ltd) for COMMON FORUM members.
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.