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Progress in management of contaminated sites

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Assessment made on  01 Jan 2001

Generic metadata


Soil Soil (Primary theme)

DPSIR: Response


Indicator codes
Geographic coverage:

Policy issue:  Is the problem of contaminated areas being solved?

Key messages

  • Some regions of the EU have completed the first stage of proper site management - a preliminary survey of potentially contaminated sites. While they have finished the first stage of a lengthy and expensive process, however, many other regions have not even begun.


Key assessment

Looking at the ?most advanced? regions is the best way of assessing just how long and expensive the entire remediation process will be across Europe. The EEA therefore looked at ten regions which have either completed or almost completed their preliminary surveys.

In most regions the second step ? a two-phase investigation of each site identified in the survey ? significantly lags behind the preliminary survey. While all ten have completed 80-100% of their preliminary survey, seven of them had not completed more than 20% of their main site investigations. There are substantial differences in progress at the subsequent stages (detailed investigations, planning of remediation, cleaning up polluted sites) between the surveyed regions .

This is almost certainly, at least partly, due to budgetary issues ? each step needs more money and time than the previous one, with the actual remediation process estimated to cost some ten times more than the original site investigation. No information is therefore, as yet, available on actual site remediation across the EU.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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