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,

The countdown phase – more or less about 10 months to go until June 2023 - towards the draft proposal on a EU Soil Health Law (EU SHL) has started by 4 October 2022, when the enlarged EC Soil Expert Group (EC ESEG) convened for a first meeting. Dia-logue and exchanges were lively, in particular as our colleagues tested by a series of questions around five building blocks, which are envisaged to form the fundament of a future common European legislative framework. Moreover, besides discussing real content as well feedback for figuring out suitable policy settings, how much and for which topics flexibility and subsidiarity might be crucial, was welcome. To follow up, stakeholder representatives have also been invited to deliver written comments.

Like routine since beginning of the year, COMMON FORUM had its debriefing meeting online and agreed to draft and discuss written feedback in 2 parts, the so-called “building block 4” involving key questions on contaminated land management, and the framing of any other building block. Exchanges on this wider universe of “caring for soils” indicated clearly that it is not only about new terms and ideas, like e.g. “soil health” and “soil districts”, but it is now the window-of-opportunity to define new transformative concepts and, even more important, to build a sound common un-derstanding among soil communities in Europe.

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 to the CF meeting: https://commonforum.eu/meetings.asp
Follow the link to the NICOLE & CF meeting: https://nicole.org/pagina/26/Upcoming_events.html

Recent changes:

From Countries:

  • Norway – September 2022:
    Hannah Hildonen and Ahmed Noman replacing Vanja Alling and Kine Mar-tinsen
    Norwegian Environment Agency

A warm welcome for the new ones and all the best for those leaving!

PREPSOIL project

PREPSOL stands for Preparing for the ‘Soil Deal for Europe’ Mission” and is a follow-up project of the Soil Mission Support (SMS). This EU-funded 3 years project will support the implementation of the Soil Mission by creating awareness and knowledge on soil needs among stakeholders in regions across Europe. PREPSOIL will widen the under-standing of Living Labs as a vehicle for engaging stakeholders in soil improvements in different land use types (agriculture, forestry, urban, etc.) and creates understanding of how different approaches to soil monitoring may support the transition to sustain-able land use.

PREPSOIL also engages with soil ambassadors and collects information on soil educa-tion by establishing a one-stop-shop for soil literacy, communication and engagement as a state-of-the-art web platform.

For the project website follow http://www.prepsoil.eu.

JRC will actively participate in all project activities ensuring effective collaboration with EUSO, see also https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/projects/prepsoil.

IMPEL project "Water and Land Remediation" - Draft guidance reports on “Multi-Phase-Extraction” and “Soil Washing”

Within the IMPEL project “Water and Land Remediation” 2 new draft reports to pro-vide guidance on remediation technology have been released for review on 15 October 2022.

The respective reports are accessible at the IMPEL webpage (to access click https://www.impel.eu/en/projects/water-and-land-remediation). Under the header “draft re-ports”, the 2 draft reports with annexes and a commenting template available for download can be found. You are invited to submit your comments, share this possi-bility to your colleagues, using exclusively the commenting template. Comments could be general, technical, editorial. Reviewers’ names will be mentioned in the acknowledgement.

Comments/observations should be submitted using the reported formats not later than 15 November 2022 to Marco Falconi (marco.falconi@impel.eu), with subject “MPE comments” or “Soil Washing comments”.

Soil health in the Western Balkans

The JRC Technical Report “Soil Health in Western Balkans” attempts to benchmark a range of issues affecting soil health with considerations on the accession progress for a possible future Soil Health Law under the EU 2030 Soil Strategy. The outcomes re-ported are based on a literature review of 139 sources, bilateral exchanges with na-tional soil experts in all Western Balkans countries, and on the personal experience of the authors. Based on the results of this study it is concluded that soil degradation is prevalent and extensive throughout the Western Balkans region. Soils are under pressure, but the intensity of various soil health indicators varies between them and among the countries.

The report is available at https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/public_path/shared_folder/EUR31163.pdf

European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) - Newsletter

ESDAC Newsletter No.146 (October 2022) -

ESDAC Newsletter No.145 (September 2022) -

ESDAC Newsletter No.144 (August 2022) -

ESDAC Newsletter No.143 (July 2022) -

Integrated sediment management - Guidelines and good practices in the con-text of the Water Framework Directive

This paper describes the efforts made by SedNet—the European Sediment Network—to generate attention for the inclusion of sediment in River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) under the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). The document raises awareness about why and how to manage sediment from a WFD perspective and draws attention to key-messages related to that management.

To view the guidelines follow the link https://environment.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2022-09/CISdocumentsedimentfinalTO_BE_PUBLISHED_1430554724.pdf

SOILveR - webinar Soil Certificates and Soil Passports

The SOILveR-webinar on Soil Certificates and Soil Passports took place from 14 October 2022.

The link to the recordings and presentations is now available under https://www.soilver.eu/soilver-meetings/

SuRF-UK bulletin on Resilience and Adaptation for Sustainable Remediation

SuRF-UK published a bulletin titled Resilience and Adaptation for Sustainable Remediation. It provides a vital resource signposting to up to date guidance that has recently been published both in the UK and globally on the topic, and shows how resilience is addressed in the SuRF-UK framework, reports and tools that are all freely available and downloadable from SuRF-UK website.

The Report can be downloaded here.

Follow the link to the SURF-UK website here.

Development of Screening Levels in soil and groundwater in Wallonia

Technical document for the selection of appropriate physical-chemical properties and toxicity values of chemical compounds describing how to deal with pollutants with no legal trigger values (Walloon Soil Decree).

The screening levels calculated here are chemical-specific concentrations for individual contaminants in soil and groundwater that warrant further investigation or site clean-up. This guidance sets forth a recommended, but not mandatory, approach based upon currently available information. These screening levels are not clean-up standards. The aim of this technical document is to keep the traceability (principle of trans-parency) about the calculated values and to allow other stakeholders in Wallonia to calculate the screening values by their own, following this document. The parameters allow to calculate 2 soil and 2 groundwater screening levels

Follow the link to ‘Polluants Non Normés’ at https://sol.environnement.wallonie.be/home/documents/le-coin-des-specialistes-experts-laboratoires/polluants-non-normes-pnn.html

The technical document in English can be downloaded at https://sol.environnement.wallonie.be/files/Document/CWBP/PNN/PNN15122020/annexe%200.pdf

Functionally derelict areas (FDA) in Slovenia - criteria for their identification and typology - Tools for sustainable and smart land use: Slovenian approach for land regeneration support
Researchgate; B. Lampi?, N. Bobovnik, L. Rebernik

Functionally degraded areas (FDAs) refer to not fully utilized or abandoned land with visible effects of previous use and of lower utility value. Such areas may have potential for new development and ecological enhancement. In Slovenia, the first database of FDAs was created in 2017, where a completely new spatial data layer in addition to the typology of FDAs and a methodological approach for systematic monitoring was developed. In 2020, the database was updated in collaboration with spatial planners from all 212 Slovenian municipalities. To enable collaboration and to monitor changes in FDAs, a custom application using the ArcGIS Online platform was developed. The presented tools, a new database and an online application, can play an important role in the process of planning and decision making at different spatial levels. They could stop the expansion of built-up areas, contribute to more rational land use according to the principle of "no net land take", support the transition to a carbon-free society and enable active regeneration of degraded areas.

To view the article follow the link https://www.researchgate.net/publication/356087139_TOOLS_FOR_SUSTAINABLE_AND_SMART_LAND_USE_SLOVENIAN_APPROACH_FOR_LAND_REGENERATION_SUPPORT

Data collection on soil contamination in the region of Flanders (Belgium) Data management of landfill sites Applicable laws
Researchgate; E. Wille, C. Isenborghs

Data management on soil pollution and contaminated sites in the region of Flanders (Belgium) has evolved a lot during the last 3 decades. The introduction of the Soil (Remediation) Act in 1995 and its revisions allowed OVAM to set up a large database. More recently, new initiatives on Brownfield covenants and Dynamic Landfill Man-agement emphasized the need of comprehensive soil and site data management.

Last years, efforts were made to enlarge the digital accessibility of former databases and archives. An example is the data management of landfills.

For the full article follow the link https://www.researchgate.net/publication/364323573_Data_collection_on_soil_contamina-tion_in_the_region_of_Flanders_Belgium_Data_management_of_landfill_sites_Applicable_laws

RESEERVE – Mineral Potential of the ESEE Region

The RESEERVE project, funded by the European Union, had the aim to map the min-eral resources and mining waste of the six ESEE countries: Albania, BIH, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Northern Macedonia, which were not included in the existing data platforms before the project. The main outcome was the WEST BALKAN MINERAL REGISTER of primary and secondary raw materials, the starting point for the integration of the region in pan- European Mineral Intelligence Network and bring it closer to the global mineral market. 473 mineral deposits and almost 1.500 mining and metalurgical waste sites are included into Register.

For more details follow the project website at https://reseerve.eu

NICOLE & COMMON FORUM Joint Workshop - Applying circularity principles in contaminated land management within the context of the new EU soil strategy

24 – 25 November 2022, Athens, Greece

The joint workshop is supported by the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy (Greece) and aims to highlight the new opportunities and challenges that the EU Soil Strategy brings and promote feasible solutions in the application of circularity principles to the very demanding and complicated topic of contaminated land manage-ment across the EU.

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

INSOP Technical Guidelines on soil pollution

The International Network on Soil Pollution (INSOP) has the overall aim of stopping soil pollution and achieving the global goal of zero pollution. INSOP also aims to strengthen technical capacities and legislative frameworks for the prevention of soil pollution and promotes the exchange of experiences and technologies for the sustainable management and remediation of polluted soils.

INSOP coordinators together with the lead and co-authors have resumed the development of the Technical Guidelines on soil pollution initially started in 2019. Once the guidelines are developed (December 2022), INSOP will invite to be part of the review panel for the following chapters:

  • Defining soil pollution and conceptual model
  • Sampling strategy and soil analysis
  • Soil pollution risk assessment
  • Mapping soil pollution
  • Recommendation for sites with mixed pollution
  • Monitoring soil pollution
  • Reporting soil pollution and communicating risks

For more information follow the link https://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/insop/fr/

2nd EUSO Stakeholder Forum - Launch of the INSOP Working Groups

From 24-26 October 2022, INSOP organized the ‘’brainstorm’’ meeting session(s) for all working areas. The description of the working area can be found on the INSOP web-site. In these ‘brainstorm’ sessions, INSOP members had an opportunity to formulate the Working Group (WG) and appoint the leader, discuss the objectives, tasks and feasibility. The SCOPE helps to decide which of the following areas of work is of the most interest.

More information to the 2nd EUSO Stakeholders Forum can be found here: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/euso/second-euso-stakeholders-forum.

The first INSOP working Group meeting on “Assessment” was held on 8 November 2022. The other working group meetings will follow.

Updated ITRC Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Fact Sheets

ITRC's PFAS Team has just published new updates to its PFAS Fact Sheets! This update includes an all new fact sheet covering Surface Water Quality, along with new content added to each of the existing PFAS Fact sheets, covering the following topics: Naming Conventions; Regulations; History and Use; Fate and Transport and Physical and Chemical Properties; Sampling Precautions and Laboratory Analytical Methods; Site Characterization and Media-Specific Occurrence; Treatment Technologies and Meth-ods; Aqueous Film-Forming Foam; Human and Ecological Health Effects and Risk As-sessment; Risk Communication; and Stakeholder Perspectives.

To view the fact sheets, please visit https://pfas-1.itrcweb.org/

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.

AquaConSoil 2023

Safe the date: 11 – 15 September 2023, Prague, Czech Republic

More information on submission deadlines, themes and the program will follow soon. Please visit https://www.aquaconsoil.com

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.