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Dear Colleagues,
Another hot summer is drawing to a close which takes us directly to the COMMON FORUM fall meeting 2018, held from October 3 – 5, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. Special thanks to our hosts of the Agència de Residus de Catalunya, Núria, Eduard and Joan for accommodating the meeting and the smooth organisation!

Besides the well known topics the meeting will be a great opportunity to discuss and learn more about managing excavated soil in urban areas and join an exciting boat tour at Barcelona port on Friday morning! Please do not forget to register as soon as possible (see below).

And if you haven’t done so please do not hesitate to fill in the questionnaires on “unexpected pollution that can be discovered during development works” and on “evolution/ending of groundwater monitoring”.

Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Barcelona

Martha and Dietmar

© Núria Boget


Our next COMMON FORUM Network meeting
will be held in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain hosted by the Agència de Residus de Catalunya
3rd – 5th of October 2018

One of the key topics for the meeting will be the management of excavated soil. Results of the Common Forum 2020 - 2030 discussion in Namur will be presented and reviewed. A site visit as a boat tour and special Working Group session will be offered on Friday.

A meeting agenda together with the online registration is now available.

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

From Countries:

  • Sloavkia - June 2018:
    - Katarina Paluchova to replace Roman Hangac
    SAZP – Slovak Environment Agency
  • Denmark – July 2018:
    - Bente Villumsen
    Danish Regions

A warm welcome to all our new members!

COMMON FORUM – Members login

Due to copyright regulation several documents and presentations were shifted to a separate archive which is only available for COMMON FORUM members. The password to allow members access to this archive will be sent to all members on personal demand by the secretariat and applies to the following sections:

  • newsletters August 2017 and older
  • COMMON FORUM meetings before 2017

Stakeholders' views on the impact of EU policies for sustainable soil management

A short survey on stakeholders' views on EU policies for sustainable soil management has been initiated within the RECARE project work on impact assessment of EU policies for soil protection (see recare-project.eu/). The data generated will complement research findings that have been derived from RECARE project case study areas.

With this survey, stakeholders, both policy makers and other practitioners, working with soil management are invited to give the views on what they think the impact of EU policies has been in their country or region. The survey asks for views on up to two soil threats with which the respondent is familiar.

The survey includes three background and five content questions and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. It does not require detailed quantitative inputs, but instead asks for opinions based on experience with implementing soil management practices.

Personal opinions and perceptions on the subject and not those of different organizations, companies or other forms of association are looked for. The answers are treated confidentially and anonymously.

The survey is open until 7 September 2018.

Survey link: https://polls.ecologic.eu/index.php/484191?lang=en

European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) - Newsletter

ESDAC Newsletter No.112 (June -July 2018) - https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/public_path/newsletter/201806.pdf

GSP Plenary Assembly - Sixth Session

The Global Soil Partnership Plenary Assembly (PA) constitutes the main venue where all GSP partners come together to make important decisions about the global soil agenda. The 6th PA of the Global Soil Partnership took place at FAO headquarters in Rome from 11 to 13 June 2018.


Soil Pollution: A Hidden Reality

The Status of the World's Soil Resources Report (SWSR) identified soil pollution as one of the main soil threats affecting global soils and the ecosystems services provided by them.

Concerns about soil pollution are growing in every region. Recently, the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-3) adopted a resolution calling for accelerated actions and collaboration to address and manage soil pollution. This consensus, achieved by more than 170 countries, is a clear sign of the global relevance of soil pollution and of the willingness of these countries to develop concrete solutions to address the causes and impacts of this major threat.

The book ‘Soil Pollution: a Hidden Reality’ aims to summarise the state of the art of soil pollution, and to identify the main pollutants and their sources affecting human health and the environment, paying special attention to those pollutants that are present in agricultural systems and that reach humans through the food chain. It concludes with some case studies of the best available techniques for assessing and remediating contaminated soils.

This book has been developed within the framework of the Global Symposium on Soil Pollution (GSOP18), identifying the main gaps in knowledge on soil pollution worldwide and serving as a basis for future discussions.


NICOLE Fall Workshop 2018

The NICOLE fall workshop on Data and Risk (Data quality + Data management & Visualisation + Risk management) will be held from 15 – 16 November 2018 in Bristol, UK.

The main themes of the Workshop are:

  • Ownership of Data
  • Data Collection and Use in Risk Assessment
  • Data Visualization
  • Data & Sustainability
  • Data Management and Sharing

More Information

Land Stewardship - a NICOLE & Common Forum publication

The current way of production, use of resources, land and natural capital is not sustainable. Transitions in energy, mobility, circular economy, food production and city development are needed. This paradigm shift cries out for a change in mind set. We need to transform towards a restorative and circular economy. Land restoration, land use and land management (land stewardship) are the key in this transformation.

Land Stewardship is still at an early stage in its development. The booklet is a first step to show how the concept of land stewardship can be helpful in the creation of an approach to sustainably use and protect our soils. NICOLE and Common Forum acknowledge the added value of the concept of land and soil stewardship and also agree that there are points of discussion e.g. legal matters. Both want to explore how this concept may lead to new insights in soil policy. This exercise could lead to a joint position paper on land stewardship. The case studies provide a promising start.

Booklet Land Stewardship - Investing in the Natural, Social and Economic Capital of Industrial Land

Proposal New ISO-TC "Circular Economy" under voting (until 2018-09-18).

ISO sets out for a new field of technical activity and a Technical Committee related to “Circular Economy”. Scope statement of the proposed new committee:

Standardization in the field of Circular economy to develop requirements, frameworks, guidance and supporting tools related to the implementation of circular economy projects. The proposed deliverables will apply to any organization or group of organizations wishing to implement circular economy projects, such as commercial organizations, public services and not-for-profit organizations. Excluded: specification of particular aspects of circular economy already covered by existing TCs, such as ecodesign, life cycle assessment in ISO/TC 207 Environmental management and sustainable procurement (ISO 20400: 2017 – Sustainable procurement — Guidance). Note: the TC will contribute to sustainable development and especially to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This proposal (in total a 10-pages form) has been circulated to national standardisation organisations by 26 June 2018, voting will close by 18 September 2018.

SEKRET Sediment ElectroKinetic REmediation Technology for Heavy Metal Pollution Removal.

The SEKRET project will consist of different actions aimed at demonstrating that the innovative Electro- Kinetic Remediation (EKR) technology can effectively remove heavy metals from contaminated harbour dredged sediments from European ports. The project will be realized at a pilot scale in a real port environment; it will demonstrate that dredged sediment with heavy metal and hydrocarbon concentrations over the agreed standards can be treated via EKR in order to reach full compliance. The main action will be the demonstration of the EKR technology by way of a demonstrative plant to be built in a dedicated area (500 m2 and already located in agreement with Livorno Port Authority) within the Port.

More information at http://lifesekret.com/

SEREBAR a review of 11 years of operation

The SEquential REactive BARrier (SEREBAR) groundwater treatment system is a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) which was constructed on a former gasworks site in 2003. It was one of the first biologically based PRB systems installed in the UK. This effort forms one of the longest running research projects of its kind in the world and one of the few that has provided active contamination management on a commercial scale. A review of the 11 year operation (2004 – 2015) of the SEREBAR groundwater treatment system was elaborated. Except for situations where the system was vandalized, the PRB performed very effectively in maintaining hydraulic control over the contaminant plume and treating the target contaminants, including some compounds, such as cyanide, it was not designed to treat.

More information

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 2018 prepared by Paul Bardos (r3 Environmental Technology Ltd) for COMMON FORUM members.


Gallini, L., F. Ajmone-Marsan, and R. Scalenghe.
Journal of Geochemical Exploration 186:121-128(2018)

Four decades after cessation of 150 years of ore processing, researchers investigated an area downwind from a decommissioned iron smelter for signs of metals contamination and if any were found to evaluate the options for intervention. Samples taken from topsoils over an area of 15 km² near the pollution source showed total concentrations of 101 mg Cr, 8 mg Co, 41 mg Ni, 70 mg Cu, 143 mg Zn, 6 mg As, 1.3 mg Cd, 0.5 mg Sb, 92 mg Pb, and 1.3 mg Bi kg/soil, with standard errors exceeding 50%. Results indicate that it is unlikely soils in the vicinity of the former smelter are a source of disproportionate human metals intake. Considering a minimum area of 1 km² and a minimum depth of 10 cm, the total cost of soil removal with subsequent reclamation would be about one quarter of the local municipality's annual budget. Economically feasible options for reducing any risks would likely rely on optimization of risk assessment factors by adopting soil conservation practices.


See all announcements on COMMON FORUM website

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