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Dear Colleagues,

Since 2015 everyone debates and intends to strive for UN Sustainable Development Goals. By beginning of this year the countdown for 2030 has started!

Hence, now the corona outbreak is causing significant restrictions and a global disruptive moment. Instead of meeting up last week in Switzerland for our COMMON FORUM spring-time meeting, most of us are bound to home-office, unlikely to be back to “business-as-usual” during the coming weeks and months.

The actual situation may feel like disconnect and will be affecting not only our economies, but political agendas and our personal mindsets. As COMMON FORUM has its merits in connecting the European contaminated land community since 25 years, it is now again a moment to make a difference and use any new windows of opportunity. Indeed looking out to 2020 proves the resilience of COMMON FORUM partners, like

  • The CF Agenda Committee agreed by unaminity to prolongue the 5th secretariat period by 4 months until end of the year.
  • OVAM, the Flemish Waste Agency, changed formats and will hold the international conference on Emerging policy challenges on New SOil contaminants (“ENSOr-conference”) as a free online conference on May 18.
  • FOEN, our partner organisation in Switzer-land, stood ready to postpone and host the network in Neuchâtel by October 2020.

Even before Switzerland might be worth a travel to meet up at EUROSOIL 2020 (August 24-28, Geneva, Switzerland; see COVID-19 statement click here: LINK), where the CF initiative on “Diffuse Pollution” is intending a dedicated 1-day workshop in a format called “Hackathon”.

So the CF-secretariat as well stays looking forward to cooperate in targeting 2030!

Kind regards
Martha and Dietmar

Tentative date 13 - 16 October 2020
Neuchâtel (Switzerland)

With following topics:

Tuesday, 13 Oct.: UN-ReLASC-CF Minamata Workshop
Wednesday, 14 Oct.: CF meeting – WG SaR & further team meetings
Thursday, 15 Oct.: CF – Plenary meeting
Friday, 16 Oct.: excursion & site visit (half day)

The first day will give the opportunity for mapping needs and possibilities on transregional cooperation between UN & ReLASC & COMMON FORUM in regards to the Minamata Convention as well as to contribute to the topics “diffuse pollution” or “soil contamination of emerging concern”.

A revised draft agenda will be out before summer

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

From EC and as successor to Ana Paya-Perez:

  • JRC Ispra – February 2020:
    - Piotr Wojda
    Joint Research Centre Ispra, Directorate D - Sustainable Resources

A warm welcome!

European Commission - Work Programme 2020 (initiatives of complementary interest for CLM)

The European Commission has published the 2020 Work Programme. Some coming initiatives under the European Green Deal might be of complementary interest for contaminated land management:

  • Annex I: New initiatives (see also further below) New Circular Economy Action Plan (non-legislative, Q1 2020) 8th Environmental Action Programme (legislative, Article 192(3) TFEU, Q2 2020);
  • Annex I: REFIT initiatives Evaluation of the Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions (IED) The evaluation of the IED Directive will assess its effectiveness, efficiency, EU added-value, coherence with other legislation and relevance to address important (agro) industrial sources of air, water and soil pollution.


A new EU Circular Economy Action Plan for a Cleaner and More Competitive Europe

On 11 March 2020, the European Commission presented a new Circular Economy Action Plan - one of the main blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth.

The new Circular Economy Action Plan outlines measures aimed at cutting down waste in new sectors such as textile, buildings, and electronics. It also includes new targets for the reduction of waste and promotes the adoption of a long-term path for waste management and recycling. Moreover, the European Commission announced a set of interrelated legislative and non-legislative initiatives aimed at establishing a product policy framework for sustainable products.

The new Action Plan announces initiatives along the entire life cycle of products, targeting for example their design, promoting circular economy processes, fostering sustainable consumption, and aiming to ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.

Minamata Convention - Guidance on the management of contaminated sites

The Minamata Convention on Mercury contains provisions on contaminated sites, including the identification and assessment of sites and the adoption of guidance on the management of contaminated sites by the Conference of the Parties.

The guidance on contaminated sites as adopted by November 2019 at COP-3 has recently been edited and translated and made available in 6 languages on the Convention website. The Conference of the Parties encouraged the parties to take it into account in identifying, assessing and managing sites contaminated by mercury.


NICOLE Spring 2020 Workshop - postponed
The End of Liability

The NICOLE workshop originally scheduled from 25 – 26 June 2020 in Porto, Portugal is postponed to a later date in 2020. The Workshop aims at providing a platform for a discussion and an exchange of perspectives related to the beginning, the management, the transfer and the end of the liability of a contaminated site. The topics on which this workshop will focus are:

  • Legal and contractual issues
  • Technology approaches
  • Insurance, accounting and investment aspects
  • Sociological and stakeholder perspectives

PFAS Contaminated Sites Risk Assessment – a Web Based European “Hot Spot” Workshop, September 22, 2020

The SOILveR platform (www.soilver.eu) strongly believes in the need for integrated soil and land research and knowledge exchange in Europe. SOILveR is a self-financed platform whose members have a common interest in sharing and implementing integrated multidisciplinary research.

The SOILveR platform is planning a so called hot spot webinar on PFAS on September 22, 2020. The aim of the webinar is to discuss topics related to human health risk assessment of PFAS contaminated land/sites. How can one take into account that the contamination consists of a large number of PFASs that we have poor knowledge of in terms of both physico-chemical and toxic properties? Can different types of chemical analyses (e.g. TOP, TOF) be of benefit? Do we need policy based thresholds and decisions, until we know more?

What is a web-based “hot spot” workshop?

The benefit is to be able to join an international meeting without long traveling distances. Participants gather at several locations - “hot spots” - that are then connected via video and audio through a web software. There can be several “hot spots” within a country, or just one. This allows for joint presentations and discussions as well as separate discussions at the local hot spot. A hot spot organizer invites participants to its own location, and acts as the host and has a hot spot moderator.

A workshop with two purposes:

  • Exchange of knowledge of PFAS Risk Assessment
  • Pilot exchange activity within the SOILveR platform to try out efficient ways of sharing and disseminating knowledge.
Date Tuesday 22nd of September, 2020
Target group Experts and policymakers
No of participants per hot spot Flexible, preferably 5-20
Language Plenary sessions: English
Local discussions: national language
Summaries/input from hot spot discussions: English
Technique used ZOOM webinar tool
Technical facilities required Stable internet connection, audio equipment, screen
How to register a hot spot Register or state your interest in organizing a hot spot
by e-mail to info@soilver.eu
Please provide country, city and if already known the
address contact information. Also provide e-mail to the
organizers contact person.

What is required of the hot spot host?

  • Organize a meeting room with the technical facilities.
  • Invite national experts/policymakers
  • Appoint a hot spot moderator
  • Participate in preparatory online meeting(s) for technical checks
  • Make sure to establish audio/video connection in the morning the day of the workshop in order to be able to start in time
  • Provide lunch and beverages during the meeting for the participants within the hot spot – at the expense of the hot spot host or participants

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 2019 prepared by Paul Bardos (r3 Environmental Technology Ltd) for COMMON FORUM members.

ENSOr – Emerging policy challenges on New SOil contaminants – Free Online International Workshop

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the previously planned International workshop on Emerging policy challenges on New SOil contaminants (“ENSOr-conference”) has been rescheduled to Spring 2021.

As a valuable alternative, a free online conference on Monday May 18, 2020 (9:30 am – 4:30 pm) is scheduled. During this live multi-sessions event researchers, policymakers, environmental experts and industry focus on how they are coping with contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) nowadays. Special attention will be paid to the policy for PFAS. At the end of the conference, representatives from the different stakeholders reflect on the theme CEC.

For more info and (free) registration, please click here. Registration is possible until May 10, 2020.

The organizers are genuinely disappointed not to be able to host the full International Conference at this time, but the Conference is postponed to Spring 2021 for the full 2 day event. The new date and location will be announced as soon as they’re confirmed. For questions or concerns, please get in touch.

Australia: class action on PFAS

The largest class action in Australia has been announced, with 40,000 people suing the Australian Government for Per- and poly-fluroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.

PFAS class actions developments: a road map of potential liability risks

Ten Years Later: the Progress and Future of Integrating Sustainable Principles, Practices and Metrics into Remediation Projects

Favara, P., D. Raymond, M. Ambrusch, A. Libera, G. Wolf, J.A. Simon, B. Maco, et al. Remediation 29:5-30(2019)

The 2009 Sustainable Remediation Forum white paper "Integrating Sustainable Principles, Practices, and Metrics into Remediation Projects" is revisited to assess sustainable remediation progress over the last 10 years, primarily in the U.S.

The current state of sustainable remediation includes published literature, current practices and resources, applications, room for improvement, international progress, the virtuous cycle that applying sustainable remediation creates, and the status of the objectives cited in the 2009 white paper. The paper explores how sustainable remediation may evolve over the next 10 years and focuses on the events and drivers that can be significant in the pace of further development. While the industry has made significant progress in developing the practice of sustainable remediation and has implemented it successfully into hundreds of projects, an opportunity exists to implement the tenets of sustainable remediation on many more projects and explore new frontiers to help improve the communication, integration, and derived benefits from implementing sustainable remediation into future remediation projects.


Revitalization Handbook - Addressing Liability Concerns at Contaminated Properties

Favara, P., D. Raymond, M. Ambrusch, A. Libera, G. Wolf, J.A. Simon, B. Maco, et al. Remediation 29:5-30(2019)

"The Revitalization Handbook - Addressing Liability Concerns at Contaminated Properties" (2019 Edition of The Revitalization Handbook) summarizes the federal statutory provisions and US-EPA cleanup enforcement documents that address the potential liability concerns of parties involved in the cleanup and revitalization of contaminated sites. It is designed for use by parties involved in the assessment, cleanup, and revitalization of sites, and provides a basic description of the tools that may be available to address liability concerns associated with several environmental statutes. This edition of the handbook supersedes the 2014 edition.


U.S. EPA, Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, Washington, DC., 2019

This brief report describes five steps for successful brownfield redevelopment, presents three redevelopment case studies from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, and discusses opportunities for obtaining brownfield grants and technical assistance.


U.S. EPA, Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, Washington, DC., 2019

EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states, tribes, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. Revitalizing brownfield sites creates benefits throughout the community. Since 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has cleaned up 1,816 properties; attracted 144,800 jobs; and made 80,952 acres ready for anticipated reuse. Results of five pilot studies show a 32-57% reduction in vehicle miles traveled when development occurred at a brownfield site rather than a previously undeveloped site. These same site comparisons show an estimated 47-62% reduction of stormwater runoff for brownfield site development. A 2017 study concluded that cleaning up brownfield properties led to residential property value increases of 5% to 15.2% within 1.29 miles of the sites.


(EPA 542-F-19-003, EPA 542-F-19-004, EPA 542-F-19-005).

Remedies at contaminated sites may be vulnerable to the implications of climate change and extreme weather events. The U.S. EPA Superfund Program developed an approach that raises awareness of these vulnerabilities and applies climate change and weather science as a standard operating practice in cleanup projects. EPA recently updated its three-part fact sheet series to continue helping project managers and other cleanup stakeholders assess site-specific remedy vulnerabilities and, where needed, implement measures to increase the remedy’s resilience. The series addresses contaminated sediment sites, contaminated waste containment systems and groundwater remediation systems. View or download at



The U.S. Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) is a state-led coalition working to reduce barriers to the use of innovative air, water, waste, and remediation environmental technologies and processes. ITRC produces documents and training that broaden and deepen technical knowledge and expedite quality regulatory decision making while protecting human health and the environment. Thus, several videos on PFAS have been provided under the following link: ITRC Explainer videos on PFAS

David M. Kempisty, Yun Xing, LeeAnn Racz

Organized into four sections, this book discusses the various challenges of PFAS in the environment today, including their historical use, their chemical and toxicological properties. It also discusses analytical challenges and special considerations in sampling. Practical recommendations are provided for dealing with these compounds in today's dynamic regulatory landscape, and various conventional and state-of-the-art remediation techniques are discussed. The book explores the challenges across the topical areas of regulation and management, toxicology, environmental remediation, and analytical sampling and analysis.

View the table of contents and abstracts

Office of Land and Emergency Management Directive 9283.1-47, 7 pp, 2019

U.S. EPA has released interim recommendations for screening levels and preliminary remediation goals to inform the development of final cleanup levels for PFOA and/or PFOS groundwater contamination at sites being evaluated and addressed under federal cleanup programs, including CERCLA and RCRA. The recommendations are consistent with existing EPA guidance and standard practices, in addition to applicable statutes and regulations.


Mahinroosta, R. and L. Senevirathna.
Journal of Environmental Management 255:109896(2020)

A comprehensive evaluation of existing and emerging technologies for remediating PFAS-contaminated soils was conducted with guidance on which approach to use in different contexts. The functions of all remediation technologies, their suitability, limitations, and the scale applied from laboratory to the field are presented as a baseline for understanding the research need for treatment in soil environments. Methods discussed include immobilization, soil washing, thermal treatment techniques, chemical oxidation, ball milling, and electron beams.


Lu, D. S. Sha, J. Luo, Z. Huang, and J.X. Zhang.
Journal of Hazardous Materials 386:121963(2020)

New insight of recently reported treatment train studies selected from around 150 different publications with regards to the remediation of PFAS and their innovative designs, remediation performances, present limits, and possible improvements are discussed. Based on a comprehensive review of the current treatment train studies, this review work proposes a new design that consists of three individual technologies – nanofiltration, electrochemical anodic oxidation, and electro-Fenton degradation – to maximize economic and environmental benefits of PFAS remedial measures.

Read more

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