Common Forum Meeting

Common Forum members & guests

News from European Commission – EEA – JRC

News from countries / initiatives

News From NICOLE

News From fao / GSP / who

PFAS Corner


Forthcoming events

Dear colleagues,

Starting from the EU Soil Strategy for 2030, efforts to prepare for new technical and legislative concepts are continuously ongoing. During a series of meetings until summer, EC’s “Soil Expert Group” (SEG) has discussed several working papers for a future Soil Health Law, i.a. on “Soil health certificate” and on “Contaminated sites”. The next SEG meeting on 8 September 2022 will explore country and expert views regarding “land-take & programme of measures”.

Meanwhile as well the assessment of applications for an “extended SEG” (EU MS representatives + stakeholder representatives and non-governmental experts) has been finalised. The full list of members will be published online soon at EC’s expert group register. Hence, COMMON FORUM already received notice on being appointed to join as a member of the expert group by its 19th meeting (4 October 2022).

In parallel, EC has launched the online public consultation on the development of the EU Soil Health Law. With all this, an intense and exciting autumn is approaching.

Stay safe

Martha and Dietmar

COMMON FORUM autumn meeting 2022 & joint workshop NICOLE

23 – 25 November 2022
Athens (Greece)

23 November 2022: COMMON FORUM meeting
24 - 25 November 2022: NICOLE & CF joint workshop
(‘Circularity in Contaminated Land Management’)
See also News from NICOLE below

Follow the link: https://commonforum.eu/meetings.asp.

COMMON FORUM Springtime meeting 2022 – presentations and report

31 May - 3 June 2022
Orléans (France)

Thanks to our hosts, the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the French Geological Survey, the first physical COMMON FORUM meeting after more than 2 years was a great opportunity to meet and exchange again personally.

The presentations and meeting report are available under https://commonforum.eu/meetings22orleans.asp

Recent changes / new experts representing COMMON FORUM members:

From Countries:

  • France – August 2022:
    Sami Kaabouch will be leaving the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

On behalf of COMMON FORUM members we want to express sincere THANKS for his contributions and – not to forget – staying confident in facilitating the restart of our network by the Orléans springtime meeting 2022

Keep going strong, all the best!

Public consultation on the development of the EU Soil Health Law

The European Commission consults citizens and stakeholders on the development of the EU Soil Health Law with an online public consultation. Please find the press release here.

The EU Soil Strategy for 2030, adopted on 17 November 2021, sets the vision to have all soils in healthy condition by 2050 and to make protection, sustainable use and restoration of soils the norm. The Soil Strategy also announced that the Commission would table a new legislative proposal on soil health to ensure the same level of protection to soil that exists for water, the marine environment and air in the EU.

All stakeholders and the wider public are invited to share their views until 24 October 2022. For the public consultation, follow this link.

HORIZON Europe - Mission Soil – 10 calls for proposals are open

The calls of the Horizon Europe EU Missions Work Programme are currently open until 27 September 2022. Funding for the “Research and Innovation actions to support the implementation of the Soil health and Food Mission” tenders for 95 Million Euros with one of the 10 calls on “Remediation strategies, methods and financial models for decontamination and reuse of land in urban and rural areas”.

For further information, follow this link Search Funding & Tenders (europa.eu)


The LUCAS survey, carried out by EUROSTAT on a three-yearly basis since 2006, focuses on the state and the dynamics of changes in land use and cover in the European Union. In the 2018, information for 18,984 locations were obtained with chemical, physical and agro-environmental data covering the 28 Member States of the EU. In this Soil sampling campaign, additional properties, including bulk density, soil biodiversity, specific measurements for organic-rich soil and different types of soil erosion were measured.

For further information, follow this link https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/lucas-2018-topsoil-data

EU Soil Observatory 2021 – review report

Since its launch on December 4th 2020, most efforts have focused on defining and developing concepts associated with the main tasks of the Observatory (monitoring, dashboard, support to R&I, citizen engagement). Efforts have also been made to consolidate and enhance the capacity and functionality of the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC), which is at the heart of the Observatory.

Major developments for 2021 included the establishment of an interservice Steering Committee, the support to the EU Mission “A Soil Deal for Europe", the development of the knowledge base on soil through research at the JRC, and the organisation of the 1 st EUSO Stakeholder Forum in October 2021 with over 1.000 participants.

The scope of the review report is to provide a synthesis of the achievements of the EU Soil Observatory (EUSO) during its first year of existence including a summary of the 1 st Stakeholder Forum.

For further information, follow this link https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC129999

European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) - Newsletter

ESDAC Newsletter No.142 (June 2022) -

ESDAC Newsletter No.141 (May 2022) -

Concawe LNAPL Toolbox and User Manual

Concawe, a division of the European Petroleum Refiners Association, has recently published a User Manual and Toolbox for Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (LNAPL) management at sites.

In terms of content, the Concawe LNAPL Toolbox is designed to address six questions via six different sections:

  1. How much LNAPL is present?
  2. How far will the LNAPL migrate?
  3. How long will the LNAPL persist?
  4. How will LNAPL risk change over time?
  5. Will LNAPL recovery be effective?
  6. How can one estimate Natural Source Zone Depletion (NSZD)?

View or download the manual at https://www.concawe.eu/wp-content/uploads/Rpt_5-22.pdf?utm_source=newsletter_176&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=cl-aire-ealert

View the Concawe Toolbox at https://lnapltoolbox.concawe.eu/lnapl_toolbox/

Lead webinar – presentations available

On 25 November 2021, Common Forum, EEA-EIONET and SOILveR organised a webinar on lead. During the first part of this webinar, three experts shared in depth knowledge on lead related risk assessment, plant uptake and bio accessibility in the human body. In the second part, three practitioners presented examples of cases of lead contamination. This was followed by a discussion on the solution they provided. The presentations of that meeting are published on the SOILveR website. The meeting was well received and a second Lead webinar is planned in autumn 2022.

View or download at https://www.soilver.eu/joint-meetings/

NICOLE and COMMON FORUM Joint Workshop 24 – 25 November 2022, Athens, Greece

“Applying circularity principles in contaminated land management within the context of the new EU soil strategy”

See also COMMON FORUM meetings above.

For more information, follow the link https://nicole.org/pagina/26/Upcoming_events.html

Launch of the International Network on Soil Pollution (INSOP)

The launch of the International Network on Soil Pollution INSOP was held on 22 April 2022 with more than 1000 participants from over 180 countries. Six working areas have been established: soil pollution assessment, soil pollution mapping, monitoring and regulation of polluted soils; sustainable management and remediation; soil and water pollution relationships; and food security and interaction with soil pollution. The work will be initiated with the assessment and mapping work areas and establishment of Assessment and Mapping Working groups.

The INSOP Concept Note can be found under this link: https://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/GSP/INSOP/INSOP_CN.pdf

For the recording and presentations follow the links https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDZj6qyr0a4

In July 2022, the first contact was launched with the GLOSOLAN (Global Soil Laboratory Network) and INSII (International Network of Soil Information Institutions) with whom a close cooperation in the assessment and mapping working areas, respectively, is envisaged (e.g. harmonisation and review of SOPs for soil pollutants, capacity building etc.). To initiate these tasks, a survey was launched for the identification of potential members who would like to contribute and be part of the team in soil pollution assessment. The survey will help to understand which contaminants of concern are prioritized the most and identify analytical capabilities within the region for pollution measurements.

The survey can be accessed using the following link here.

EPA Creates Database to Find Thermal Treatment Processes for Remediating PFAS

US EPA researchers developed a centralized PFAS Thermal Treatment Database (PFASTT) on the use of different thermal treatment processes for the remediation of PFAS. It was designed for use by utilities; federal, state, and local agencies; scientific researchers; and the general public. PFASTT can be used to make decisions for effective PFAS treatment processes, plan for future treatment plant upgrades, recognize research needs, and more. It includes information from 70 publications involving thermal treatment of 58 different PFAS substances, gathered from literature sources focused on bench-, pilot-, and full-scale studies of thermal treatment of PFAS-laden media.

View the full article at https://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/epa-creates-database-find-thermal-treatment-processes-remediating-pfas

PFAS Thermal Database: https://ordspub.epa.gov/ords/pfastt/f?p=pfas-thermal-treatment:about-the-database

Outside the Safe Operating Space of a New Planetary Boundary for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Might we have already crossed a further planetary boundary!?

It is hypothesized that environmental contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) defines a separate planetary boundary and that this boundary has been exceeded. This hypothesis is tested by comparing the levels of four selected perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in various global environmental media (i.e., rainwater, soils, and surface waters) with recently proposed guideline levels. On the basis of the four PFAAs considered, it is concluded that (1) levels of PFOA and PFOS in rainwater often greatly exceed US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lifetime Drinking Water Health Advisory levels and the ?4 PFAS in rainwater is often above Danish drinking water limit values also based on ?4 PFAS; (2) levels of PFOS in rainwater are often above Environmental Quality Standard for Inland European Union Surface Water; and (3) atmospheric deposition also leads to global soils being ubiquitously contaminated and to be often above proposed Dutch guideline values.

It is, therefore, concluded that the global spread of these four PFAAs in the atmosphere has led to the planetary boundary for chemical pollution being exceeded. Because of the poor reversibility of environmental exposure to PFAS and their associated effects, it is vitally important that PFAS uses and emissions are rapidly restricted.

View the full article at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.2c02765

Low-temperature mineralization of perfluorocarboxylic acids

Any new approaches to innovate technological means?

Most current methods use very harsh conditions to decompose these compounds. Trang et al. found that there is a potential weak spot in carboxylic acid–containing PFAS: Decarboxylation in polar, non-protic solvents yields a carbanion that rapidly decomposes. The authors used computational work and experiments to show that this process involves fluoride elimination, hydroxide addition, and carbon–carbon bond scission. The initial decarboxylation step is rate limiting, and subsequent defluorination and chain shortening steps occur through a series of low barrier steps. The procedure can accommodate perfluoroether carboxylic acids, although sulfonic acids are not currently compatible.

View the full article at https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abm8868

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 2022 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.