Percentage contribution to soil contamination from localised sources

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Assessment made on  01 Jan 2001

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DPSIR: Pressure

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Policy issue:  What has caused soil pollution?

Figures

Key assessment

Across Europe, dangerous wastes have been dumped for decades without consideration of the long-term problems. The same story can be seen in commercial and industrial sites, where hazardous chemicals were regularly used, spilt, lost, and discarded. In most cases, it was simply because doing anything else was both too expensive and legally unnecessary.

Recent regulations and EU Directives, such as the EU?s Landfill Directives and Integrated Pollution and Prevention Control Directive, should reverse this trend, so soil remediation can focus on cleaning up the mistakes of the past. But how significant is the problem?

There is immense variation between regions and countries across Europe, reflecting the variation in industrial activity in each. Unfortunately, this variation is reflected in the classification and monitoring systems adopted by each Member State, making it difficult to compile an EU-wide perspective.

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100